More enrol for second degree: Study

Undergraduate students may want to start planning for that second degree.

Undergraduate students may want to start planning for that second degree.

A report commissioned by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission said 70 per cent of Maritime university graduates who earned their first degree in 2003 enrolled in a second education program within five years.

“I think that is supporting the fact that one degree is no longer enough,” Duguay told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

The report said most graduates need more education for employment reasons, and more than 80 per cent of liberal arts degree holders go for further study.

Graduates are also suffering from debt, the report said. Nearly half of the 2003 graduates surveyed said they borrowed $30,000 or more to complete their degree. Five years later, 23 per cent still owed more than $30,000, while 28 per cent paid off the whole amount.

Elise Graham, chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia, said in a release that this is the direct result of the province’s high tuition fees.

“For 20 years students in Nova Scotia paid the highest fees in the country,” said Graham.
“The only sure-fire way to reduce student debt is to invest in grants and reduce tuition fees.”

Although some are suffering from financial woes, the report said most graduates were satisfied with their education.

Five years after graduation, 80 per cent said their university education was worth the time invested, and 70 per cent said it was worth the financial investment, said Duguay.

The report also said the brain drain remains about the same compared to the 1999 study. The net retention of graduates five years after completion of their first degree is 79 per cent in Nova Scotia, up five percentage points.

The Maritime Higher Education Commissioned surveyed 1,061 graduates from across the Maritime provinces. The report has a margin of error of 1.6.

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