Aboriginal Students

Over the last decade, the U of A has increased the number of undergraduate students who self-identify as Aboriginal from 2.7 per cent of total student population in 2005-06 to 3.0 per cent in 2014-2015.

While this indicates positive growth, we can clearly do more to attract and serve this historically under-served population of talented young people. We know that Alberta's expanding Aboriginal population is young; in 2011, the median age was 25. That year, 6.2 per cent of Albertans self-identified as Aboriginal, with 36.1 per cent living in Edmonton. Although there has been an increase in the percentage of post-secondary students in Alberta who self-identify as Aboriginal (from 2.6% in 2004-05 to 3.9% in 2012-13), university degree attainment rates for Aboriginal people in Alberta remain low at less than half of those for the overall population. Indeed, less than 9 per cent of Albertan Aboriginal people aged 25 to 64 living off-reserve had completed a university degree as of 2013. Thus, more needs to be done to bridge the gap between the number of non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal postsecondary graduates.