The Maritime provinces’ reputation for having a high university participation rate got solid support from a report released yesterday.

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission’s report University Participation: A Maritime Perspective, found universities in the region attract high numbers of students from within and outside the Maritimes, and a high proportion of Maritime youth (age 18-24) go to university here or elsewhere in Canada.

Measuring the proportion of the population that enrols in university is an important method for governments, universities, and the public to get a sense of whe­ther qualified students have access to a university education. It is also a marker of future economic prosperity, given its link to future educational achievements.

Over the past 25 years, overall participation in Maritime universities has more than doubled to 34 per cent, eight points greater than the national average. Overall participation rates by province were: Nova Scotia, 39 per cent; Prince Edward Island, 25 per cent; and New Brunswick, 28 per cent.