Educate the Anglos

Given that the post secondary task force is in Moncton tonight, I thought it might be appropriate to serve up a commentary. I probably should do this in person but I suspect there will be more than one person making the same case.

2001 Census (Moncton CA)
Adult population
Percentage of Anglophones with a university degree: 11.6%
Percentage of Francophones with a university degree: 16.6%
Percentage of Immigrants* with a university degree: 35%
Percentage of all Moncton CA adults with a university degree: 13.4%
Place among Canada’s metropolitan areas? Bottom quartile
Place among Canada metropolitan areas if the Anglophone population with a university degree was equal to the Francophone population? Average among Canadian CMAs.

*Non official language as mother tongue.

2005 = 1,080 graduates from Greater Moncton anglophone high schools
% of graduates going on (or planning to) to university: 65% (from a 2005 graduate follow up survey). Total estimated annual new university population from Anglo schools every year: at least 700.
Total amount going to Mount Allison and ABU: 30% (210)
Total amount leaving the market: Approx. 500 per year
Or about the entire enrolment at Mount Allison (500/year over four years)

Now, I’m not a stickler for another English language university per se in Greater Moncton. But I do think that losing 500 of our university bound kids every year never to see them again is becoming problematic. 25% of the adult population in Fredericton has a university education. In fact, if Moncton ‘pulled its weight’ so to speak and had similar a university educated population as Fredericton, New Brunswick would not be the least educated population in Canada. Far from it, New Brunswick would be mid pack.

So, we have got to find a way to get the education level of the Anglos (and Francos) up in Greater Moncton. And we need university education to do that. Or we get a whole lot better at bringing them back.

Good ideas recently put out there:

  • Putting on a bus to Sackville daily (several times) – Mount A wants more students – it’s a win-win
  • A new campus in Moncton (Mount A served this up as an option today)
  • A bilingual university collaboration between UdeM, MTA, etc. with an enrolment of at least 1,000 or more (or over four years half the potential demand not including pick ups from French Immersion across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and even Ontario).

This stuff matters folks. Depending on the study, university educated people make between 20%-40% more than high school grads only. There is a direct correlation between the fact that Greater Moncton has one of the lowest average income levels among metro areas and that it has among the lowest education levels.

Key to long term prosperity (wow bring back the Lordian term!) will be raising education levels in Greater Moncton.

Go get ’em tiger.

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0 Responses to Educate the Anglos

  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I mistaken or weren’t there reports in the fall that the universities are having a hard time getting enough students and that enrollment is down across the board. Doesn’t more faculties make no sense whatsoever?

  2. scott says:

    It has nothing to do with the educational levels of NBers or creating more faculties. (though I see the stats aren’t pretty) We have enough Liberal arts programs in this region to sink a ship.

    In other words, the temporary departure of young adults to universities in other parts of Canada and the world are not the problem here. It’s the fact that these individuals do not have any solid options in front of them after graduation that will entice them to return home to become stable and productive taxpayers with the career of their choice.

    Do we have the education system to blame for that? No.

    It has all to do with the poor political climate in this province which [for decades] has preached against the steps necessary to create a viable and competitive free market society. Instead, governments of the day have opted in favour of [supplicant] policies which strengthen our overall dependency on government, thus rendering our region less competitve both nationally and globally. Moreover, this very same ethos is probably the reason that our region is so insular and unattractive to outside skilled immigrants who are looking to make a longterm commitment to an area. I guess that’s what happens to a region that becomes economically unprogressive, non-competitive and government dependent.

    IMHO, reverse this mentality and you have a shot at retaining 25 per cent of the educated “anglo” lossed each year in Moncton, not to mention, you have a shot at keeping more francophones in the area who opt for greener pastures in Ontario and Quebec. In other words, the rising tide of a strong free market society will bring all boats to a higher level no matter who’s on them or where they come from [skilled immigrants].

    And btw, the bus system was always on my radar screen for two reasons: 1.) so that individuals in Sackville could take advantage and feed off of the economic momentum of a growing urban area like Moncton, and 2.) to make communities more interconnected by their infrastructure. [through transportation and technology]

    However, this will only succeed if local businesses, labour unions, voluntary organizations and community groups are on side. These groups are essential partners in the process. Yes, it’s important that we development infrastructure for the further development of post-secondary education, but it is just as important that we create additional infrastructure so as to accomodate and build a better economic environment for all citizens, not just tosde who are educated.

  3. David Campbell says:

    To anonymous at 8:09, yes, but there is an issue of university students leaving and not coming back. However, Scott is right that the economic environment and jobs environment trumps education infrastructure. If it’s a question of either/or. Remember my stat from before. B.C. in the 1990s had the lowest percentage of university students enrolled in provincial universities and the highest percentage of university graduates in the workforce (I am not sure now).

  4. Trevor says:

    Page 62 to 80… Some pretty interesting stuff…

    Here are some things to chew on…

    An Issue of Concern— A Declining Student Population
    The city of Moncton had a total population of 64,849 in 2004, with approximately 36 percent
    being Francophone.57 Similar to the Atlantic Region’s population trends, the city’s population
    growth rate is in decline. It grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the 1980s, 4.0 percent in the
    1990s, and only 2.9 percent between 1996 and 2001.58 Figure 10 shows the rate of
    population growth by age groups between the 1996-2001 and 2001-2004 periods, and
    indicates that these low growth rates are concentrated across the youngest population
    cohorts. The current trend will continue to provide a decreasing supply of students for
    School Districts 01 and 02 and a smaller demand for post-high school education (e.g.,
    community colleges and universities). As the young population declines, so does the
    probability of being able to provide a new post-secondary institution in Moncton to serve the
    Anglophone population.

    companies in Moncton have been successful to attract needed talent to the
    community, the need for a local university is not reduced. The importance of a strong
    university for knowledge-based economic development is well documented. Stanford in
    Silicon Valley, MIT in Boston, and the University of Texas at Austin68 played a key role in the
    success of these regions or cities. Producing high-tech talent for the local workforce is one of
    several vital roles which these universities play to promote entrepreneurial activity. (p.77)

    An alternative way to increase the number of Anglophone graduates within Moncton, aside
    from the region “bootstrapping a university” is to provide special scholarships for distancelearning
    opportunities for university students, on the provision that they remain and work in
    Moncton. While it would be more difficult to control, similar scholarships could be provided
    for education outside of Moncton, on the condition that students return to live and work in
    Moncton. One example of a scholarship program that could leverage a regional advantage
    would be to place a team of students through a distance-education commercialization
    program, such as the Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization
    program offered by The University of Texas at Austin, through the IC² Institute. (p.79)

  5. Phoff says:

    In theory, a new university in Moncton would be great for all the reasons cited by Trevor.

    The obvious hiccup, as Scott points out, is that there aren’t any jobs in Moncton for more university graduates. Trust me, my wife and I have been wanting to return for years.

    If there isn’t a concerted effort to have attractive jobs for these graduates, the only people that will benefit are those working at the actual university.

    Also, as your post makes reference to getting more educated anglophones to Moncton, it’s important that any new institution makes an effort to churn out bilingual grads.

    Moncton is a bilingual city and that attracts or will attract many companies or government departments. As Graham Fraser points out in his latest book, universities have done a horrible job in creating a bilingual workforce. All of the efforts put into the French immersion at the school level is effectively lost at the university level.

    If another similar institution sets up shop in Moncton, the unilingual students that graduate will still end up leaving the city.

  6. David Campbell says:

    There’s another advantage of economic development. The call centre young people that came to Moncton in the 1990s are building families now. There’s a bit of a baby boom in Greater Moncton these days…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is an excellent model to demonstrate the laws of supply and demand. As a province, and part of a region with the same situation, we already have far more university student supply than there is demand.

    Instead of duplicating and expanding capacity, we should be concentrating, consolidating and making our university programs world class.

    And time for a reality check regarding transportation and commuting; we cannot afford (financially or quality wise)to offer every program in every community. The commute from Moncton to Sackville would be advertized as ‘a short commute’ in most large cities.

    Regarding the demand side of the equation, existing businesses could benefit from a more educated, higher skilled workforce. Our embarrassing productivity numbers reflect this.

    Perhaps the approach should be to help improve the demand with awareness and incentives and let the supply side respond accordingly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I never like disagreeing with Scott, but the ‘free market’ has been well documented to be the WORST system for creating jobs. As India, China and Mexico develop even services will be going there.

    Even the US has finally recognized that and has started putting duties on Chinese products.

    There is no one ‘model’ that works in every location at every given time. As I mentioned on the other thread, even developing a ‘publicly traded model’ won’t help in medical research-it HAS to be publicly funded. Even large research organizations know that, and trust me, virtually nobody likes the pharmaceutical model developed by the states-not even the people who work for them. They KILL research.

    So again, when you talk jobs, talk specifics, not generalities. We all know that research is government funded. So to develop scientific research you need to look at the funding models.

    So to be fair, as has been mentioned before, for scientific and general research there is simply no place for federal dollars to go. There is no infrastructure and that’s the fault of the entire educational system. Universities can only do so much, so look again at Waterloo where in one city at least SIX non profit, public-private research institutions have sprung up.

    “World class” no longer means universities. Of course that is publicly funded, as is virtually every industry in southern ontario, from insurance to auto. So let’s not pretend the ‘free market’ is coming to save ANYBODY.

    Once again we come down to policies. How does such infrastructure get paid for? Well, again, we KNOW there is TONS of money in the province, its simply handed over to Irving and McCain and a much lesser extent ganong. It’s given to corporations who pay virtually no tax and industry who pays little more (I’m not talking about small mom and pop businesses).

    So thats the ‘free market’ of NB. So nobody should be surprised that there is no money for investment, and people shouldn’t be surprised that nobody wants to invest. When the economy exists to profit maybe ten companies then there is little room to manouver.

    However, those are political decisions and can’t be attended without political action. No political action= well, what is going on now.

    For the bus service issue, that’s something that ‘sounds neat’ but without analysis we don’t know. First, how many people ‘carpool’ from Sackville or Shediac? How many people WOULD go to school in Moncton but simply don’t have the means? I doubt its that many, cars are pretty cheap nowadays and finding a drive isn’t that tough.

    However, once again we go back to political action because if you’ll recall the deal with the current bus service specifies that no other bus services can be set up in the province because the provide rural service where no market could exist. If you want to challenge that, good luck.