Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission

Maritime student persistence, graduation numbers studied (10/02/03)

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Feb. 3, 2010,

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Almost eighty percent of Maritime students remain enrolled at the same university a year after admission, and almost 60 per cent graduate within six years, according to a report released today.

The report, Student Progression within University of First Entry: Persistence and Graduation, by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, also found that three per cent of students who began studies in 2001 were still enrolled six years later and 39 per cent had left the university without completing a degree.

The report does not track the destinations of students who leave their first university, some of whom transfer to another institution to complete their studies. However, 19 per cent of those who left after the first year, returned to the same institution within the next five years.

"Whether these numbers are judged to be high or low will depend on the perspective taken," said Mireille Duguay, chief executive officer of the Commission. "But we do know that, overall, the patterns observed in the report point to many similarities with those recorded in other studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada. That is, Maritime students are persisting and graduating at the same rates as those in other regions."

The report also shows that persistence and graduation patterns vary with discipline, gender and region of origin. For example, students enrolled in applied or professional programs were the most likely to persist (84 per cent after one year) and to graduate (65 per cent) within six years, while those enrolled in humanities, arts and social sciences were less likely to persist (73 per cent after one year) and to graduate (52 per cent) within six years.

Women (61 per cent) were more likely to have graduated within six years than men (53 per cent).

The paper is available on the commission's website.

The Measures of Student Progress and Outcomes project is funded, in part, by the Canadian Council on Learning. A working group of institutional researchers from six universities in the region is helping the Commission develop areas of measurement, including persistence and graduation rates, and course success. The research is based on the post-secondary student information system.

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission was established in 1974 to assist institutions and governments to enhance the post-secondary learning environment. The Commission's 20 members are from the Maritime provinces and represent higher education institutions, provincial governments and the general public.

10/02/03

MEDIA CONTACT: Dawn Gordon, Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, 506-453-2844, gordond@mphec.ca.

10/02/03