Government of Canada welcomes survey on university researchers and faculty members

News Release

Return of Statistics Canada survey will support government's diversity and inclusion goals

September 15, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The people who drive innovation through their pursuit of new knowledge and ideas are among Canada's greatest assets. They support lifelong learning and skills training among Canadians of all ages. They train for—and create—good‑paying, middle‑class jobs. And they play a key role in the Government of Canada's vision to position this country as a global centre for innovation.

That's why Canada needs up‑to‑date and accurate information about faculty members and researchers at Canadian universities. Today, the Government took an important step forward in collecting the data necessary to drive future policy directions concerning university researchers and faculty.

Statistics Canada announced that it is reinstating a survey that will provide important data—including age and gender—on the makeup of Canada's world‑renowned university researchers. The announcement was made at Western University by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

The University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS) survey ran from 1937 to 2012 but was discontinued by Statistics Canada due to budget constraints. With work already under way, Statistics Canada will begin publishing results from the reinstated UCASS survey in April 2017.

Data compiled through the survey will be used to make evidence‑based policy decisions that support greater diversity and inclusion in Canadian universities. The survey supports the Government's Innovation Agenda, which will put in place the conditions to drive economic growth, create good‑paying jobs and grow the middle class. Encouraging diversity and inclusion in Canada' knowledge institutions is key to that mission because an economy that depends on innovation needs good ideas to come from a broad sector of society.


"The survey's reinstatement is a crucial step toward understanding Canada's community of university researchers and faculty. Once we understand the face and composition of Canada's research community, then our government can begin the real work of collaborating with universities to help them recruit faculty that reflect Canada's diversity. Diversity, after all, is the source of our nation's strength."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"Canada cannot afford to leave any of its brain power on the sidelines. That's why we need more women, Indigenous people and people from other cultural groups to join our knowledge institutions. We rely on good ideas to power an innovation economy. And those good ideas could come from anyone and anywhere. That's why diversity and inclusion are as much values that reflect sound science as they are moral values. The broader the talent pool, the more good ideas emerge. Our country's prosperity and success depend on the full participation of Canadians who reflect the diversity of this country."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Statistics Canada is committed to working with the universities to once again provide our data users with high‑quality and relevant information. This survey provides information on how the university environment is changing and helps students and faculty plan for the future."

– Statistics Canada

Quick facts

  • Prior to the discontinuation of UCASS in 2012, the survey had collected data on full‑time faculty at Canadian universities every year since 1937.
  • In an attempt to bridge the gap in data, Statistics Canada will also work with academic institutions to gather pertinent data from the years since 2012.
  • Statistics Canada will also test the feasibility of expanding the survey to include part‑time and public college staff.

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Associated links

Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin


Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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