Canadian students continue to be hindered by soaring tuition costs as more are entering fields that pay well and are in high demand, according to a new report from CIBC Capital Markets.

Enrolment has been on the rise in science, technology, engineering, and math, which are typically high-paying areas, the report released Tuesday finds. But the report also says the cost for obtaining education in those subjects is too high, and is leaving graduates with greater debt loads.

The report says fee inflation in expensive programs has been accelerating at almost double the pace seen in cheaper options and argues “price appreciation can slow or even derail the positive momentum observed in recent enrolment trends.”

Embedded Image

CIBC says the problem can be helped if universities reallocate resources and provide more subsidies to some of the more expensive fields of study.

“Higher-education is an example of an area that should not be a perfectly free market in which higher demand is wholly reflected in higher prices,” the report reads.   

The report also finds more students are still choosing a university over a typically more affordable college education, and that the gap has even widened in recent years. CIBC is calling for more collaboration between colleges and universities, and says the vulnerabilities in the system will become evident in the next economic downturn. 

Embedded Image