Press "Enter" to skip to content

High student dropout rate in Maritimes worries student advocates

As university administrators met with representatives of the Nova Scotia government on Monday to discuss the future of postsecondary education, student advocates expressed his concern for the large number of students who drop out without graduating.

"I think it's absolutely worrying that, especially in Maritimes, the dropout rate after the first year seems to be higher than in the rest of Canada," Tristan said. Bray, the executive director of Students Nova Scotia.

Last year, a study conducted by the Commission of Higher Education of the Maritime Provinces of Fredericton found that up to 31 percent of the students who entered the Maritime Universities left school and did so. no graduate

The study followed 9,518 first-time and full-time students to see where they ended after seven years. While the study covered all Maritimes universities, Nova Scotia had a great influence due to the large number of schools in the province.

Bray said that while the overall cost of an education plays an important role in the high dropout rate, there are other factors that push students to quit smoking.

"There is a financial aspect, but I also believe that there are many other barriers that students face in the transition to post-secondary education," he said.

"For many students it is the first time they live outside the home, they are out of their communities, they are out of their support groups, and I think that universities throughout the province could do it."

The desertion numbers

The MPHEC study found that the dropout rate was more pronounced between the first year and the second year, with 17 percent of the students dropping out after only one year of school.

Only 41 percent of the students who registered graduated from the original university they entered in four years. Some took longer to finish their studies, and a small number was transferred to another maritime university and graduated.

Bray said he believes the financial need should be addressed with more non-reimbursable scholarship programs and free tuition aimed at low-income and marginalized students.

Students from Nova Scotia also advocate for supports in areas such as medical care, mental health care and prevention of sexual violence, which Bray said would be helpful for more students to remain in school.

Aidan McNally, the president of Nova Scotia of the Canadian Federation of Students, offers an interview. (Shaina Luck / CBC)

On Monday, a group led by the Canadian Federation of Students met in front of a meeting between universities and the Department of Labor . and advanced education. The meeting was held to examine a draft memorandum of understanding that will establish the direction of the university government for the coming years.

"Our message is clear: tuition rates can not continue to rise and we need more funding for our institutions," said Aidan McNally, president of Nova Scotia of the Canadian Federation of Students.

McNally said the CFS advocates an immediate 10 percent decrease in tuition fees, and is working to eliminate enrollment rates within 10 years.

Under the current three-year MOU that expires this year, colleges could increase annual undergraduate enrollment by up to three percent for Nova Scotia students. The three percent limit was not applied to students outside the province, international students and graduate students.

The MoU also gave universities the option of increasing the cost of certain programs if they were lower than what similar institutions charged. This "one-time market adjustment" led some institutions to increase tariffs by thousands of dollars in some programs.

In an email, the Department of Labor and Advanced Education confirmed that the new memorandum of understanding will be finalized in the coming weeks.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *