Skip To Content


Research Article

◂ Back to Publications

A Statistical Analysis of Transfer and Student Mobility in Ontario: What the University/College Applicant Survey™ Tells Us

February 2022

Authors: Roger Pizarro Milian (ONCAT), David Zarifa (Nipissing University),Rod Missaghian (ONCAT), Henrique Hon (ONCAT)

Project photo

Executive Summary

Postsecondary transfer research in Ontario – despite making significant strides in recent decades – continues to suffer from a lack of data sources that systematically capture patterns in student mobility. For this reason, ONCAT has been diligently working to find innovative data sources, potential new data-linkages, and other opportunities that allow us to extend our understanding of transfer and student mobility in Ontario.

In the spring of 2020, Academica Group graciously provided ONCAT with access to one of the richest and largest educational datasets in Canadian postsecondary education (PSE): The University/College Applicant Survey™ (UCAS). This proprietary data source provides impressive coverage of hundreds of data fields capturing postsecondary applicants’ demographic characteristics, educational background and aspirations, usage of various information sources, decision-making, and other relevant topics. The UCAS™ has been conducted annually by Academica since the mid-2000s and has been fine-tuned over the years in consultation with PSE stakeholders to capture emerging topics of interest. During this period, the UCAS™ has been completed by hundreds of thousands of applicants to 100+ Canadian colleges, polytechnics, and universities. To date, the UCAS™ remains one of the most trusted data sources for institutional decision-makers across Canada.


  • Student decisions, experiences, and outcomes
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
  • Public policy