University graduates with lower levels of literacy

University graduates with lower levels of literacy

University graduates with lower levels of literacy

Date posted: November 6, 2014

One of the findings from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) was the significant number of university graduates with low literacy and numeracy skills.   Statistics Canada has just released an Insights on Canadian Society report, University graduates with lower levels of literacy and numeracy skills, studying the adults aged 25 to 65 with a university degree who were in the lower range of literacy skills, numeracy skills or both.  Included in the study are the factors most likely to be associated with lower levels of literacy or numeracy among university graduates.

Here is an overview of the results:

  • Of all Canadian adults aged 25 to 65 in 2012, 49% were in the lower range for literacy proficiency, 55% were in the lower range for numeracy proficiency, and 43% were in the lower range for both literacy and numeracy.
  • University graduates were less likely than other educational attainment groups to be in the lower range for skills. For example, 27% of university graduates were in the lower range for literacy skills, compared with 88% among those with less than a high school diploma.
  • Foreign-born university graduates were more likely to be in the lower range of literacy and/or numeracy. For instance, 45% of them were in the lower range for literacy, compared with 16% of Canadian-born university graduates.
  • Among the Canadian-born university graduates, the proportion of those in the lower range for literacy and numeracy varied across various factors, such as age, field of study, and number of books at age 16 (used as a proxy for cultural capital).
  • Canadian-born university graduates who were classified in the lowest skill proficiency levels were as likely to be employed as those who were in the highest levels, but those who were employed were less likely to work as professionals or managers.

Click here to read the full report.

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