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.