Five Years On: More Mobility of of University Grads

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission just released a new study entitled
Five Years On: A Survey of Class of 1999 Maritime University Graduates.

Now, I admit I only breezed through the 86 page report but I got caught up on the section on ‘mobility’. Here a quote:

In 2001, we recorded a statistically significant difference in graduate mobility based on gender, and this effect persisted into 2004. Among first-degree holders originally from the Maritimes, 20% of women, and 29% of men, left the region within two years after graduation, a difference of 8 percentage points. By 2004, 28% of women and 36% of men had left.

28% of women and 36% of men had left.

And the rate of mobility is increasing since 1991.

In fact, on page 50 of the report, there is a table showing that the loss of native Maritimers that graduated from local universities is up across every educational category.

Now, I’m no educational economist but if the government spends thousands of dollars per student to subsidize these students so they can get educated and work in Ontario or Alberta – doesn’t it make sense for Ontario or Alberta to pay for their education? (and I am not talking about Equalization here).

Every report that comes out on this stuff makes me more resolved that we need to fix our economic base before we dump more dough into the post-secondary education sector. Cripes, mobility out of the region is up across all educational categories! Dump in $1 billion more and that same survey in 10 more years will show an even greater out mobility.

We need to focus on the development of a few key industries. Attract large industry players, nurture the growth of locally grown niche players and then fund the unversities to supply these industries with talent.

On the vice-versa front, it ain’t working.

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0 Responses to Five Years On: More Mobility of of University Grads

  1. Anonymous says:

    What industry is going to come to a place with no educational facilities? You don’t actually even NEED to invest, like I said, open a medical school in Campbellton that only serves chinese and Indian students (ones with money). Some positions could be filled with locals. It’s all private money, hell if the caribbean can do it, why not New Brunswick?

    However, the ‘pump more’ into university is interesting, especially since its the main place research is done, and correct me if I”m wrong but hasn’t it often been a criticism made from this blog that NB hardly spends anything on R&D? That is money going into universities.

    And why isn’t that a plug for equalization? If they pay into New Brunswick, one thinks they should get something out of it, likewise, New Brunswick should. The problem is when the deal is broken and suddenly they don’t pay into the system. Then, well, take a look at this:

    more articles

    Student Debt Out of Control in Maritime Provinces
    Canadian Federation of Students, HALIFAX, 18 May 06

    Average student debt in the Maritimes has skyrocketed 33% in only five years, from $21,117 in 1999 to $28,078 in 2004, according to a study released today.

    “Student debt in the Maritimes is spiraling out of control,” said Danielle Sampson, Nova Scotia National Executive Representative of the Canadian Federation of Students. “After looking at these results, how could any of the Maritime premiers sit back and watch while tuition fees continue to increase, pushing students deeper in to debt?”

    The study released today by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission entitled, “Five Years on: A Survey of Class of 1999 Maritime University Graduates” found that students in the Maritimes are taking on an average of $28,078 of debt in order to pay for the rising costs of post-secondary education.

    The study found that 73% of all students in the Maritimes have to borrow to finance their degrees. There was also a dramatic increase in the number of students forced to take on mortgage-sized debts. Close to one in four of all borrowers have debt loads in excess of $40,000 upon graduation.

    “Tuition fees must be reduced and more up front grants are needed if governments are going to reduce this trend,” continued Sampson, “Without immediate action, students will be driven deeper into debt, while others will have to forgo post-secondary education all together.”

  2. David Campbell says:

    Don’t misunderstand me. I think the post-secondary education system in New Brunswick is critical to the future of the province. I just think we need to back up and evaluate how the investment is currently benefiting NB and how it could be better linked to industry growth strategies (of which there are currently none).

    I think the overburdening of students with debt is a contributing factor to why they leave – i.e. to make the salary needed to pay their student loans.

    Ultimately, I am a proponent of free post-secondary education – if it can be much more closely tied to industry growth strategies. I, unlike, many of the ‘experts’ don’t think students will spend the ‘excess money’ on beer and popcorn.

    But my central theme is this. Does the public investment in direct student education lead to economic growth? Does the government investment in R&D lead to economic growth? On this last one, the province contributes very little to university level R&D so getting money from Ottawa is a form of smarter Equalization – but I think it should link cycle back to a economic growth strategy.