Demand for University Continuing Education in Canada: Who Participates and Why?

Maria Adamuti-Trache, Hans G. Schuetze


The demand for and participation in continuing education by Canadian university graduates who completed bachelor and/or first professional degrees in 1995 are analyzed in this article. Within five years of completing their first degree, in addition to participating in graduate programs, a large number of those graduates participated in non-degree programs and courses for career and job purposes and for personal reasons. Through a descriptive analysis of National Graduate Survey (NGS) data for the 1995 cohort, the authors examined the socio-demographic profile of participants, their motives for participating in continuing education, and their choice of specific programs. According to the study findings, the respondents' labour-market situation, both in objective and subjective terms, was an important reason for participating in continuing education; indeed, more than three-quarters of participants had a job/education-related reason for participating in continuing education. In particular, the study provides information and insight into the demand (expressed and latent) of a targeted university continuing education audience. The National Graduate Survey together with Adult Education and Training Survey (AETS) and institutional data, allow a more realistic assessment of participants' needs and program preferences.

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