This report uses data to enhance our understanding of the students that attend a group of eight public post-secondary institutions in BC that are represented by the BC Association of Institutes and Universities (BCAIU). The data for this report were provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and sourced from the Central Data Warehouse (CDW). Data were provided in the form of an Excel pivot table, which supports the development of profiles of the BCAIU student population on a variety of variables.
Table 1 introduces the institutions that are represented by the BCAIU and their associated acronyms. The BCAIU represents the province’s three public institutes and five of the province’s eight teaching-intensive universities. The pivot table used for this report also includes information in aggregate for colleges and other institutions that contribute to the CDW. The individual institutions that contribute to these groupings are shown in the table below.
Table 1: CDW Institution Names and Acronyms
|British Columbia Institute of Technology||BCIT|
|Justice Institute of BC||JIBC|
|Nicola Valley Institute of Technology||NVIT|
|Emily Carr University||ECU|
|Kwantlen Polytechnic University||KWN|
|University of the Fraser Valley||UFV|
|Vancouver Island University||VIU|
|College of New Caledonia||CNC|
|College of the Rockies||COTR|
|North Island College||NIC|
|Northern Lights College||NLC|
|Northwest Community College||NWCC|
|Vancouver Community College||VCC|
|Other CDW Institutions|
|Royal Roads University||RRU|
|Thompson Rivers University||TRU|
|Thompson Rivers University-Open||TRUO|
|Institute of Indigenous Government||IIG|
The province’s four research universities do not contribute to the CDW and therefore information is not available for these institutions through the pivot table.
|University of British Columbia (Vancouver and Okanagan)||UBC|
|University of Northern British Columbia||UNBC|
|University of Victoria||UVIC|
|Simon Fraser University||SFU|
The stories in this document focus on the academic year 2010-11 and cover a range of topics, including:
- high school transition rates,
- college region of BC high school students,
- age/gender distribution by institution,
- characteristics of international, domestic and Aboriginal students,
- enrolment by year of study,
- enrolment in preparatory and continuing education courses, as well as the
- demographic characteristics of students.
Figure 1 provides summary statistics to describe BCAIU students as they compare with college students and students from other BC public post-secondary institutions that report data to the CDW.
Figure 1: BCAIU Institutions Compared With Colleges and Other Institutions
Note: All tabulations exclude offshore students.
Many of the stories included in this document pertain to a particular subgroup of BCAIU students. Flow charts similar to the one above and data tables are used to assist the reader in understanding which subgroup of students is being profiled in a given story.
Please refer to the box below for some key data definitions and a note about study limitations.
|Data Definitions and Study Limitations
Provided below are definitions for three variables that are used throughout the report to profile BCAIU students. A complete list of the variables available in the pivot table and their associated values is provided in Appendix 1.
Aboriginal / Non-Aboriginal: Aboriginal students are students who self-declared at any CDW institution in any year or identified themselves as Aboriginal through the Ministry of Education when in the K-12 system. The Non-Aboriginal category includes students whose Aboriginal identity is not known.
Domestic / International: International students are those students who pay an international fee for at least one course in a period. Off-shore students are excluded from the analyses that focus on international students due to inconsistent reporting practices across institutions.
Most Frequent Course Level: This variable considers all of the courses that a student is enrolled in and codes the student to the category that most closely reflects the nature of their primary enrolment. The categories include Years 1 through 8, Preparatory (ABE &/or ESL) and Continuing Education.
The nature of the data provided for use in this study places some limitations on the types of analysis that can be undertaken. For example, pivot tables do not support the analysis of a particular cohort of students over time; rather, they support the analysis of cross-sections of the student population at given points in time. As well, the pivot table did not include program information or high school district information.
The data stories are presented below in question and answer format.
Story 1: What proportion of domestic BCAIU students came from the BC high school system?
Of the 138,321 domestic students enrolled at BCAIU institutions in 2010-11, 53 percent (72,778) are known to have graduated from a BC high school (Table 2). According to CDW records, 39 percent of 2010-11 college enrolments originated at BC secondary schools, as did 47 percent of enrolments at other CDW institutions.
Table Number of BC High School Graduates Enrolled at BCAIU Institutions,
Academic Year 2010-11
|Total Students||Total Domestic||% Domestic out of Total||BC High School||% BC High School out of Domestic|
|Total CDW Institutions||348,217||332,103||95%||151,020||45%|
Source: Ministry of Advanced Education, Central Data Warehouse
It is likely that the actual percentage of students originating from the BC secondary system is higher than the data suggest because CDW records do not include high school history for students who attended secondary school in BC before 1990, when the Personal Education Number (PEN) was established. Thus, the quality of the secondary school data is higher for more recent high school graduates. This is reflected in a declining proportion of students known to have attended a BC high school with student age, from a high of 90 percent for students age 18 to 21, 84 percent for those 22 to 24, 69 percent for 25 to 29, 43 percent for those between 30 and 39 and just 25 percent for those students between 40 and 49.
Story 2: What proportion of all provincial high school graduates transition to teaching-intensive universities, institutes, colleges, and research universities?
This story relies on an analysis of data from the Student Transitions Project (STP) to assess trends related to the transition of BC grade 12 students to BCAIU institutions, as well as other parts of the BC public post-secondary system.1 Roughly half of the province’s high school graduates register at a BC public post-secondary institution within one year of graduation and this proportion has been rising in recent years. Many of the remaining high school graduates enter the public post-secondary system in subsequent years; the five-year transition rate ranges between 71 and 72 percent, depending on the graduation year.
Table 3 below shows the share of immediate- and delayed- entry transitions by destination institution category. The “institutes” category corresponds directly to the three BCAIU institutes: BCIT, JIBC and NVIT. The “teaching-intensive universities” category includes all five of the BCAIU universities (CAPU, ECU, KWN, UFV and VIU), but this category also includes Royal Roads University and Thompson Rivers University.
Taken together, teaching-intensive universities and institutes receive just over one-third of BC high school students who transition to the public post-secondary system within one year of graduation, a slightly lower proportion than BC research universities, at 38 percent. Teaching-intensive universities are popular destinations for students who make an immediate transition (29%), as well as for those who delay their transition to post-secondary (31%). By contrast, institutes and colleges are more likely to be a destination for delayed entries than immediate entries.
Table Distribution of Immediate- and Delayed-Entry Transitions to Post-Secondary Studies from BC High Schools, by Destination
|Destinations||Share of Immediate Entry Transitions
(5-Yr Avg: 2004/05 to 2008/09
|Share of 1,2& 3 Year Delayed-Entry Transitions
(5-Yr Avg: 2001/02 to 2005/06)
Source: Heslop, J (June 2011)
Note that the Teaching-Intensive Universities category includes Royal Roads University and Thompson Rivers University, which are not BCAIU members.
The Student Transitions Project provides immediate- and delayed-entry transition rates by college region of high school graduation. The majority of those who transition to post-secondary studies within one year of high school graduation enrol in a post-secondary institution located in the same region as their high school. For example, 91 percent of 2008/09 high school graduates from the Lower Mainland who transitioned immediately to post-secondary studies remained in the Lower Mainland for post-secondary. The comparable figure for Vancouver Island graduates was 87 percent and 84 percent for graduates from other parts of the province.
Table 4 shows annual immediate- and delayed-entry transition rates for selected college regions where BCAIU institutions are located. Institutes are considered to have a provincial mandate, and therefore the British Columbia total in Table 4 is relevant to them. Among college regions with BCAIU institutions, the Kwantlen college region has consistently shown the highest immediate-entry transition rates and is approximately similar to the Capilano and Malaspina regions in terms of delayed entry transition rates. High school students from the Fraser Valley have relatively low rates of immediate- and delayed-transition to post-secondary studies. In terms of the size of the BC high school student population, the Kwantlen college region is the largest, accounting for 22 percent of all BC high school graduates in 2008/09, by far the largest proportion of all 15 college regions.2
Table Transition Statistics for BCAIU College Regions
|Selected College Regions of Grd 12 Graduation||BCAIU Institutions located in College Region||Immediate Entry Transition Rate||Delayed Entry Transition Rate||2008/09 Gr. 12 Grads Distribution|
|2006/07||2007/08||2008/09||2002/03||2003/04||2004/05||Count||% of total|
|BC||BCIT, ECU, JIBC, NVIT||51.7%||52.4%||53.6%||72.0%||72.6%||73.4%||44,763||100%|
Source: Heslop, J. (June 2011)
Story 3: When did first year BCAIU students graduate from high school?
The next data story uses CDW data to focus on graduates from BC high schools and their transition to BCAIU institutions. A subgroup of BC high school graduates that transitioned to post-secondary studies in 2010-11 has been identified in Figure 3. The following parameters define the study group:
- graduated from a BC high school,
- were primarily enrolled in first year studies in 2010-11, and
- were between the ages of 18 and 24 in 2010-11.
Figure 2 shows that there were 25,947 such students in the BCAIU system and that they accounted for 62 percent of all first year students who graduated from a BC high school.
Figure BCAIU High School Graduate Study Group, 2010-11
1 The information presented in this story is from Heslop, J. (June, 2011). Research Results from the Student Transitions Project. Avalable online at: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/student_transitions/documents/STP_Newsletter-Direct_and_Delayed_Entry.pdf
Note that the Student Transitions Project includes all of the institutions that report to the Central Data Warehouse, as well as the province’s four research universities: University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.
2 The next largest college region in terms of the number of high school graduates in 2008-09 was Douglas, accounting for 14 percent of provincial high school graduates.
This story looks at when students age 18-24 who were enrolled in first year1 at BCAIU institutions in 2010-11 graduated from high school. For the BCAIU system overall, Figure 3 shows that 27 percent of first year students graduated from high school the year before and made a direct transition to post-secondary studies. A further 21 percent of the 2010-11 first year class graduated from a BC high school two years before, in 2007-08. Just over half (52%) of the BC high school graduates in first year at BCAIU institutions finished high school at least three years prior to their current studies. Consistent with findings from the STP, the CDW data show that a much higher proportion of the first year class at BCAIU universities is composed of direct-transition high school students (32%), as compared with institutes (16%) (Figure 3).
Figure 4: Distribution of First Year BCAIU Students Age 18-24
by Transition Length from High School, 2010-11
Figure 4 shows the average transition time in years for each BCAIU institution, and the BCAIU, college, and other institutions groupings. On average, students registered in first year at JIBC in 2010-11 graduated from their BC high school 4.2 years before. By contrast, four of the universities (CAPU, KWN, UFV and VIU) and NVIT, all had average transition times of under three years. The overall average transition times for BCAIU institutions, colleges and other institutions was similar, at about three years.
Figure 5: Average Transition Time in Years from BC High Schools to First Year Studies in 2010-11,
by BCAIU Institution and Institution Grouping
Figure 5 provides more detail regarding transition patterns for BC high school students to first year studies in 2010-11. This figure shows that the composition of the first year class at BCAIU’s five universities and NVIT is more heavily weighted toward recent high school graduates, with declining proportions of the class comprised of older high school graduating classes. BCIT and JIBC, by contrast, had approximately equal representation from each of the seven high school graduating years. Colleges and other CDW institutions have a similar distribution to one another and have a lower emphasis on first and second year students than BCAIU universities.
Figure 6: Distribution by Year of High School Graduation for First Year Students, Academic Year 2010-11, by BCAIU Institution, BCAIU, College and Other Institution Grouping
Table 5 provides the same information illustrated in Figure 5, but in tabular format with student counts.
Table 5: Year of High School Graduation for Students Enrolled Primarily in First Year Studies, Academic Year 2009-10, by BCAIU Institution
|Year of Graduation from BC High School|
|2009-10||2008-09||2007-08||2006-07||2005-06||2004-05||2003-04||Before 2003||Total #|
Note: There were 28 BCAIU records with a high school graduation date that was invalid or not possible given that student age for this analysis was restricted to students aged 18-24.
Story 4: How do the age/gender profiles of BCAIU institutions compare?
Figure 7 shows the relative size of enrolments for the 2010-11 academic year by age and gender for BCAIU institutions, colleges and other CDW institutions. All three groupings have approximately a quarter of their enrolments in the youngest age group: 17 to 21. Colleges also have a relatively strong emphasis on the 50 and over population, with this group of students composing 16 percent of college enrolments, 12 percent of BCAIU enrolments and only 7 percent of enrolments at other CDW institutions. Students aged 30-39 compose approximately 19 percent of the student population at all three institution groupings.
Overall, females made up 48 percent of BCAIU’s total 2010-11 enrolment, a substantially lower proportion than for colleges (56%) and other CDW institutions (57%).
Figure 7: Age/Gender Pyramids for BCAIU Institutions, Colleges and Other CDW Institutions
Note that records with missing gender and/or age are not included in Figure 7.
Figure 8 shows the age/gender distributions for individual BCAIU institutions. The gender distribution of enrolments varies substantially across BCAIU institutions, ranging from a high of 71 percent female at ECU, to a low of 37 percent at BCIT and 38 percent at JIBC. At all BCAIU institutions other than BCIT and JIBC, females compose over half of the students (Figure 8).
The age distributions for JIBC and BCIT show that these institutions have a stronger emphasis on older students than do the universities. More than three-quarters (77%) of JIBC students are 30 years of age or older and only 5 percent fall into the lowest age group of 17 to 21. BCIT’s enrolments are concentrated in the 25 to 39 age groups, accounting for 46 percent of total enrolments.
By contrast, three of the teaching-intensive universities (CAPU, KWN and UFV) have between 41 and 48 percent of their enrolments in the youngest age group. VIU and CAPU have relatively high enrolments in continuing education and this is reflected in an emphasis on the oldest age group in their distributions.
Figure 8: Age/Gender Pyramids for BCAIU Institutions, 2010-11
Story 5: What is the distribution of international students across BCAIU institutions?
Five percent of the BCAIU student population in the 2010-11 academic year was composed of international students; the same proportion as for all CDW institutions considered together. BCAIU institutions accounted for close to half (47%) of the total 16,114 international students attending CDW institutions in 2010-11, while colleges made up 39 percent and other institutions the remaining 14 percent.
Figure 9: Domestic and International Student Headcounts, Academic Year 2010-11
|Total International, 2010-11||% Distribution Domestic across institutions, 2010-11||% Distribution International across institutions, 2010-11||Average Annual Growth International 2007-08 to 2010-11|
|Total CDW Institutions||348,217||332,103||16,114||100%||100%||8%|
Among BCAIU institutions, BCIT had the largest body of international students in 2010-11, at 2,465. VIU and KWN also had relatively large international student contingents, at 1,612 and 1,341 respectively. Led by these three institutions (BCIT, VIU and KWN), BCAIU experienced a higher average annual rate of growth in the number of international students over the four-year period leading up to 2010-11 (11%), than did colleges (5%) or other CDW institutions (6%).
VIU had the highest concentration of international students as a percentage of its total 2010-11 student body, at 9 percent. International students composed 7 percent of enrolments at Kwantlen, and 6 percent at BCIT, Emily Carr, and the University of the Fraser Valley.
Story 6: How do the demographics of domestic, international and Aboriginal students compare?
International students tend to be younger than their domestic counterparts, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (Figure 9). In fact, 91 percent of international students are under the age of 30 compared with 55 percent of domestic/non-Aboriginal students and 58 percent of Aboriginal students. The distribution of domestic/non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students is similar across all age groups, reflecting the trend in BC toward life-long learning and the applied and career-oriented programs offered by BCAIU institutions that appeal to more mature students. The average age of international students is 23.9, compared with 32.4 for domestic/non-Aboriginal and 30.7 for Aboriginal students.
Figure 9 : Distribution of International, Domestic and Aboriginal Students in BCAIU Institutions, By Age Group, Academic Year 2010-11
International students were less likely to be female than domestic/non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students. Overall, 43 percent of international students enrolled at BCAIU institutions in 2010-11 were female and females composed less than half of the international student population at all BCAIU institutions except ECU. At BCIT, the proportion of female international students (42%) exceeded the proportion of female domestic/non-Aboriginal students (37%) in 2010-11. This reflects differences in the program choices of international and domestic students. At BCIT, there is a higher concentration of domestic students in vocational, technical studies and apprenticeship programs, whereas a majority of international students take technology programs.
Table 6: Number and Percentage of Females by Institution and Type of Student,
2009-10 Academic Year
|Domestic / Non-Aboriginal||International||Aboriginal||Total|
|BCAIU||# Female||% Female||# Female||% Female||# Female||% Female||# Female||% Female|
|Other Institution Total||14,782||53%||791||45%||1,693||56%||17,266||53%|
Note that percentages are based on records with known gender. In total, there are 239 students in the BCAIU system, 1,088 in the college system, and 916 in other CDW institutions with no gender indicated in CDW records.
Story 7: What level of study are students enrolled in and how does this vary for different types of students?
The study dataset includes a variable that indicates the level of study that students are primarily enrolled in at each institution. The categories include Year 1 through 8, Preparatory, which includes Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL), and Continuing Education (CE). In reality, students may be enrolled in a variety of courses at different levels or years of study and may also take some ABE, ESL and/or CE courses. The “most frequent course level” variable considers the full range of a student’s enrolments in a given time period, and codes each student to the single category that best reflects the primary emphasis of their enrolment. Table 7 shows the distribution of BCAIU’s 145,922 students across the course level categories. In comparison with colleges and other CDW institutions, BCAIU institutions have a stronger emphasis on the first two years of study and less emphasis on Continuing Education.
Table 7: Distribution of Students by Most Frequent Course Level
|Most Frequent Course Level||#||%||#||%||#||%|
Note that unknown records were excluded from the calculation of percentages.
This section compares the level of study for three groups of students: domestic/non-Aboriginal, Aboriginal and international. It is clear from Figure 11 that domestic/non-Aboriginal students (85%) are more likely to be enrolled in a year of study than Aboriginal (76%) or international students (69%). Close to one-third of international students (31%) were primarily enrolled in Preparatory courses, most likely ESL. There is also a relatively high concentration of Aboriginal students (13%) in Preparatory courses as compared with other domestic students (5%), in this case most likely ABE courses. Continuing Education accounts for approximately the same proportion of domestic/non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal enrolments and there are no international students in Continuing Education courses.
Figure 11: Distribution of Domestic, International and Aboriginal Students by Type and Stage of Study, Academic Year 2009-10
Figure 12 focuses on the 122,098 students enrolled in a year of study, and excludes those enrolled primarily in Preparatory or Continuing Education courses. Domestic/non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students have a very similar distribution across years of study, with about 71 percent registered primarily in first-year courses, between 15 and 16 percent in second year courses, and about 6 percent in third year. The concentration of domestic/non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students in first year reflects enrolment by domestic students in JIBC where almost all of the students are considered to be in first year. International students were relatively less likely to be enrolled in first year (58%), and more likely to be enrolled in later years of study.
Figure 12: Distribution of Domestic and International Students by Year of Study,
Academic Year 2010-11
Table 8 (next page) provides a detailed tabulation of the most frequent course level by institution. Column percentages show the distribution of an institution’s enrolment across year of study, Preparatory and Continuing Education. For example, the column percentages indicate that 92 percent of JIBC students were enrolled in first year programs in 2010-11 and that VIU had almost equal proportions enrolled in first year and Continuing Education.
Table 8: Detailed Distribution of Headcount By Type and Stage of Study, 2010-11 Academic Year
|BCIT||JIBC||NVIT||CAPU||KWN||UFV||VIU||ECU||BCAIU Total||College Total||Other Institution Total|
|Year 5 +||0||858||0||21||0||50||1,039||50||2,018||3,490||2,996|
|Year 5 +||0%||3%||0%||0%||0%||0%||6%||1%||1%||2%||10%|
Story 8: What is the age distribution for students participating primarily in Preparatory or Continuing Education courses?
Table 10 shows that the largest concentration of students participating primarily in Preparatory courses at BCAIU institutions is in the youngest age group (35%). These are likely students who are completing their grade 12 equivalent in the post-secondary system. This concentration of younger students in Preparatory studies is consistent across BCAIU institutions, with the exceptions of JIBC and, to a lesser extext, NVIT. As expected, students primarily engaged in continuing education courses tend to be concentrated in the older age groups (e.g., 30 and over).
Table 9: Age Distribution for Preparatory and Continuing Education, by BCAIU Institution, 2010-11 Academic Year
|17 to 21||30%||2%||22%||37%||47%||34%||37%||–||35%|
|22 TO 24||23%||3%||15%||15%||18%||16%||19%||–||18%|
|25 TO 29||21%||14%||17%||11%||12%||14%||13%||–||15%|
|30 TO 39||15%||37%||16%||14%||12%||14%||13%||–||15%|
|40 TO 49||9%||31%||18%||11%||7%||10%||9%||–||10%|
|50 and Over||2%||14%||12%||12%||4%||12%||8%||–||7%|
|17 to 21||–||–||27%||34%||4%||10%||10%||4%||19%|
|22 TO 24||–||–||10%||4%||5%||7%||5%||4%||5%|
|25 TO 29||–||–||10%||6%||11%||11%||9%||7%||8%|
|30 TO 39||–||–||20%||10%||22%||20%||15%||24%||15%|
|40 TO 49||–||–||18%||12%||17%||25%||16%||18%||16%|
|50 and Over||–||–||18%||34%||40%||27%||44%||42%||37%|
Appendix 1 Methodological Notes
This analysis is based on data provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education from their Central Data Warehouse through a Research Agreement. The data for this analysis were provided in the form of a pivot table and no access to personal identifiers was requested nor provided. The table below shows the variables and values available through the pivot table for analysis.
|ABORIGINAL_STATUS_DETAILED||N-Both, Y-CDW, Y-K12, Y-PSEC, Y-PSEC+K12|
|GENDER||F, M, U|
|HIGH_SCHOOL||Name of BC high school or Blank|
|HIGH_SCHOOL_GRAD_DATE||YYYYMM of graduation, or Blank|
|IMMIGRATION_STATUS||Canadian Citizen, Non-Canadian, No Visa Status, Non-Canadian, Status Unknown, Other Visa, Permanent Resident, Refugees, Student Visa, Blank|
|PERIOD||Academic Year 2002-03 to 2011-12 (incomplete), Fiscal Year 2002-03 to 2010-11 (incomplete), Nov. 1st 2002-2011(incomplete)|
|AGE_GROUP||17 and under, 18-21, 22-24, 25-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65 to 99, Unknown|
|INSTITUTION||BCIT, CAPU, ECU, JIBC, KWN, NVIT, UFV, VIU|
The presentation of data in this report ensures that no individual can be identified by suppressing non-zero cell values with fewer than 5 responses.
This appendix provides details regarding how study groups were defined and how variables were derived. The methodological notes are organized by topic and cross-referenced to the applicable data stories.
Length of Time to Transition (Story 3)
Table 12 shows the data that were used for the high school transition analysis in Story 3. This analysis focused on the 2010-11 academic year, the last column in Table 12.
Table Raw Data from High School Transition Analysis
|Year of HS graduation||Year of registration in 1st year at a BCAIU institution|
Case level data was not available and thus average age was calculated using a weighted average as per the following example.
Table Example Weighted Average Calculation
|CDW Age Groups||Age Mid-Point||# Students||# Students* Age Mid-Point|
|17 years and Under||17||225||3,825|
|18 to 21||19.5||1,826||35,607|
|22 to 24||23||1,020||23,460|
|25 to 29||27||1,247||33,669|
|30 to 39||34.5||1,349||46,540.5|
|40 to 49||44.5||858||38,181|
|50 to 64||57||529||30,153|
|65 to 99||65||34||2,210|
|Average = 213,645.5/7,088=