OCAD University and its art, design and digital media alumni are important contributors to the GTA creative economy, according to a recent labour market report. The total direct and indirect economic impact of OCAD U from institutional spending, student expenditures, increased graduate outcomes and induced spending is $257.6 million per year.
Conducted by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), the report determined the total increased earning power of alumni who hold BFA degrees, and who live and work in Ontario, is $66.6 million per year (this is compared to Ontarians with education below a bachelor’s level). The report also found that alumni were very satisfied with their work because they feel it reflects their values, interests and personality.
“There is tremendous value in art, design, digital media and related degrees, socially and economically,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD U. “Culture, arts and heritage contribute $47.8 billion to the Canadian economy, and our community plays a big role in those industries.”
The HESA report also noted that the majority of art, design and creative industry employers in the GTA have increased or maintained their number of employees with 84% currently employing recent grads. Such numbers bode well for recent graduates who are joining the workforce.
These strong economic outcomes are mirrored in the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), an annual online survey of art and design alumni from participating post-secondary institutions throughout North America. It shows OCAD U students have reason for optimism once they graduate. The survey asks about alumni experiences at the institution and post-graduation with a focus on employment outcomes. Among OCAD U alumni from the past five years the majority are currently or have been self-employed in the past, some having founded non-profit or for profit organizations. The survey participants also indicated their training at OCAD U was relevant in their current employment.
OCAD U students are engaged with their instructors and academically challenged during their studies, according to the latest numbers released by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). NSSE collects information about the undergraduate experience among universities and four-year colleges across North America. Participants include first year and senior year students only.
When compared to other Ontario University students’ experiences with faculty, OCAD U students rate their experience at or above the mean for both student-faculty interaction and effective teaching practices in first and fourth year.
“Members of our faculty are at the top of their fields and known throughout Canada and the world,” said Dr. Diamond. “Because of our smaller class sizes, students have the opportunity to interact with their instructors beyond what is possible in larger schools.”
Undergraduate applications are now open for the 2015-16 school year. This Saturday, October 25, the public and prospective students are invited to “Look Inside,” the annual OCAD U open house. This event encourages visitors to take a studio tour, watch a student demo, talk with faculty and staff and explore undergraduate and graduate studies along with other programs.
OCAD University (OCAD U):
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
For more information please contact:
Christine Crosbie, Media Relations Officer, OCAD University
416-977-6000 Ext. 4890