Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.
It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand 'outcomes'. In order to conduct such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada, student identification information (student’s name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrolment information, previous education, and labour force activity.
The federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.
Students who do not wish to have their information used can ask Statistics Canada to remove their identifying information from the national database. On request by a student, Statistics Canada will delete an individual’s contact information (name, address, or other personal identifiers) from the ESIS database. For more information, contact: