Smells like spin city again

I guess I am getting too old and/or to cynical because when I saw this, my first instinct was a sense of dizziness.

The New Brunswick Community College is out with its latest graduate follow up survey and they are claiming that 87% of their graduates are working in New Brunswick. However, they also say that only 72% of the graduates of the survey were interviewed. Now, I can’t find the most recent survey online but you can see the methodology from last year’s survey here GFU2006E.pdf.

The survey company are given a database of contact information for all the graduates and then the culled out 15 wrong telephone numbers and 52 that were not eligible and after this 73% of the eligible candidates took the survey.

Question. And here is where my cynicism comes in. If they have the database, it only stands to reason they have contact telephone numbers and/or addresses.

Why not publish the profile of this list? Because it seems to me that of the 28% that didn’t respond to the survey, a higher percentage would be outside the province. This is not empirical – just a hunch. But when they say that 87% are working in New Brunswick that is not based on the universe of graduates. And they seem to know where these folks are because the survey company was able to cull bad records out of the list.

As I have said before, in the last couple of months I have had three community college students tell me that their teachers talk a lot about the job opportunities outside New Brunswick for their skillsets. So, I have a hunch that the 87% is much lower. But if I am wrong, why not just publish the summary of where the total graduates are located? Then my criticism would be put to rest.

The bottom line is that community college and university is heavily subsidized by the New Brunswick government and no one wants to be overly chatty about the fact that 20%, 30% and I even saw one report that said 40% (this was Maritime wide) of graduates leave the region because that would show a serious problem. The NB government spending millions each year to train workers for Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Besides, even 87% seems low to me since community college training is supposed to be aligned with local market requirements. University I can see be more transient.