Highlights from the 2017/18 fiscal year

May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018 (Source: IAP/WaterlooWorks)

Co-operative education is a hallmark of excellence at the University of Waterloo. What started with a cohort of 74 students in 1957 has grown to more than 21,000 today. Not only have we grown in numbers during this time, we've evolved to bring work-integrated learning to all students in any plan. With co-op as a foundational value in the University’s history and development, it’s no wonder nearly seven out of ten Waterloo students were registered in a co-op program in fall 2017.

A driver of enrolment growth

According to the 2017 Incoming Student Survey, 71% of incoming undergraduate students would not have accepted their offer without co-op. The University has nearly three times as many co-op students as the next two largest post-secondary co-op institutions - combined.

21,606undergraduate co-op studentsenrolled as of fall 2017

17%co-op enrolment increase in the last 5 years (fall 2013- fall 2017)
6,400+students available for hireevery term

Take a look at the interactive chart below to see a breakdown of University of Waterloo enrolment over the last five years across multiple data points.

98.5% co-op employment ratean increase of 1.9% since 2013/14
96.1%first work term employment ratean increase of 4.6% since 2013/14
This year, we named Emily Pass and five of her peers our 2017 Co-op Students of the Year. Emily then won similar distinctions at the provincial and national level.

Take a look at the interactive charts below for a breakdown co-op employment rates over the last five years.

Full-time paid work terms, alternating with study terms, enable students to deepen their learning in their fields of study, develop transferable skills that will help them in careers and throughout their lives, and enhance their ability to learn quickly and comprehensively.

20,700+work terms an increase of 23.6% since 2013/14
2,900+international work terms in 60+ countries
4,400+first work termsan increase of 29.4% since 2013/14

Take a look at the interactive chart below for a breakdown of the top countries our co-op students work in.

$260+ Million in student earnings, with average co-op earnings of$12,100 per work term in Canada

Employers travel from all over the world to recruit Waterloo students. The size and scale of Waterloo's co-op program require an unparalleled level of support from staff and faculty partners.

Icon of desktop computer with webpages open 25,000+jobs postedan increase of 31% since 2013/14
Icon of paper and pencil1,100,000+co-op job applicationsan increase of 46% since 2013/14

Icon of two people interviewing at a desk87,000+interviews 57,500+ in-person, 18,800+ over Skype, 10,700+ over phone
Icon of two speech bubbles indicating conversation37,000+interactions with students, employers and staff by our Information Centre staff

The University's employer network stretches around the world. Co-op support staff are strategically located across Canada to offer support to employers and students no matter where they are. 

Icon of a group of professionals1,400+new employersemployers who made their first hire in 2017/18
Icon of a name badge with photo ID7,000+active employers with an average of 2,100 employers hiring per term

Icon of a thumbs up95.0%of co-op students received ratings of very good to outstanding from employers
8.4/10average rating students gave their work term experience79% of students gave their work term a rating of 8 or higher

The Centre for Career Action (CCA) provides employment, career development and further education preparation for all Waterloo students, alumni and employees. This includes individualized career advising sessions and audience-tailored workshops/events. CCA also provides co-op supports to pre-first work term students and takes the lead on student instruction and Teaching Assistant (TA) training for several co-op and career prep courses. In 2017/18, the team provided extensive training to 174 student-staff and TAs to enhance the skills of career influencers across campus. That training had an indirect reach of approximately 8,800 students. This is on top of CCA’s direct impact:

2,400+students attended individual career advising sessions
7,800+students engaged in career-specific contentaveraging 5+ minutes per pageview

using CareerHub

6,700+students accessed drop-in career or co-op consultation services
11,500+participants in workshops and events

University graduate survey data shows that Waterloo co-op grads enjoy better career success than graduates from other Ontario universities.

Icon depicting one in five people89%of Waterloo co-op grads are employed 6 months after graduationcompared to 87% of Ontario graduates

Ontario University Graduate Survey of 2014 graduates

Icon of pencil and ruler crossed96%of co-op grads employed 6 months after graduation worked in positions related to skills they acquired at Waterloocompared to 79% of Ontario graduates

Ontario University Graduate Survey of 2014 graduates

Icon of money bag79%were earning at least$50,0002 years after graduation compared to 39% of Ontario graduates

Ontario University Graduate Survey of 2014 graduates

One of the most successful programmes in the world for students spending part of their degree working in industry.

Times Higher Education 
World University Rankings

120+accredited co-op programs
950+people engaged by WatCACE in research related to co-op
19,700+enrolments in 14 WatPD courses

550+students registered in EDGEsince launch in fall 2017

Ranked #1in Canada for employer-student connections

QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019

Canada's most innovative university for27 years in a row

Maclean's Magazine

Ranked #1in Canada for Experiential Learning

Maclean's Magazine

Check out our print-friendly snapshot of the Annual Report .