McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Final Report - Executive Summary

Read the entire final report.  

In 2006, the Principal's Task Force on Student Life and Learning asked, “How can the University administration best foster sensitivity to cultural and personal differences in the delivery of academic and other administrative supports to the students, while respecting its primary academic purposes?”

The McGill University Student Demographic Survey (Diversity Survey) was designed to help answer this question by providing data on McGill’s student body and the students’ perceptions of the University as an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Survey results provided student demographic information and an assessment of the campus diversity climate for students. Some key highlights of the survey results follow.

A diverse student body

McGill students are diverse in several aspects:

  •   41% of students were born outside of Canada, 23% of whom were born in the United States.
  •   19% of degree-seeking students are international, representing the largest proportion of international students among the G13 (now the U15). [1]
  •   63% of respondents studied outside of Quebec before coming to McGill: 17% in Ontario, 14% in the rest of Canada, 14% in the U.S., and 18% in the rest of the world.
  •   37% of respondents self-identified as belonging to a visible minority group.
  •   44% of respondents chose no religion when asked, “With what religion (if any) do you identify?”  Thirty-nine percent (39%) identified with Christianity, 8% with Judaism and 6% with Islam.

A multilingual student body

McGill students are truly multilingual:

  •   71% of respondents learned English as children, 49% of whom learned only English as children; thus only 34% were unilingual Anglophones in childhood.
  •   38% of respondents learned French in childhood.
  •   40% of respondents reported learning more than one language early in life.
  •   61% of respondents use more than one language to communicate with friends and family; 35% use only English and 4% use only French.
  •   63% of respondents rated language as important or very important to their sense of identity.
  •   A minimum of 89% of respondents reported that they were either very good or excellent in each of the following English skills: writing, understanding, reading and speaking. 
  •   47% of respondents reported being very good or excellent at reading French, 49% at understanding spoken French; 33% at writing French and 38% at speaking French.

A welcoming and tolerant environment

Students were asked, “Have you experienced discrimination by McGill students (or people who work at McGill) with respect to the following: language, disability, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ethnic/cultural background, religion?”

  •   58% of respondents reported never being discriminated against by fellow students, while 67% reported never being discriminated against by employees.
  •   Unfortunately, based on at least one of the personal characteristics cited in the survey, 3.6% of respondents indicated high levels of discrimination (quite a lot or very much) by fellow students and 2.9% by employees.

Overall, few students reported any form of discrimination based on the personal characteristics cited in the survey. In fact, in their comments, many students made a point of stating that McGill and Montreal are accepting of diversity. The discrimination section in this report analyzes reported discrimination in more detail in an effort to better understand if certain students or groups of students, as defined by cited personal characteristics, are more likely to perceive and/or experience discrimination.


[1] The G15 (or U15), known as the G10 (Group of Ten) prior to May 2006, is a consortium consisting of 15 research- intensive Canadian universities (the latest universities were added in late fall 2010). For the purposes of this question, data were available for the G13, comprised of the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Université Laval, McGill University, McMaster University, Université de Montréal, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Ontario.

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence marks this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

Learn more about the land you’re on by following this link, and commit to taking action to support local Indigenous communities.

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