Nova Scotians not as scholarly as we like to think

Nova Scotians like to boast we have the highest percentage of university-educated people in the country.

 

Nova Scotians like to boast we have the highest percentage of university-educated people in the country, but the statistic behind that claim isn’t telling the whole truth, according to a new study.

 

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission released a set of 10 measures of participation Thursday that breaks down why university participation rates in the Maritimes are higher than the national average.

 

“The usual conclusion is, ‘Nova Scotia has a really high participation rate.’ Well, yes and no,” says Mireille Duguay, chief executive officer of the commission.

 

“The ‘no’ is why we went into all of these measures.”

With a plump 40 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 enrolled in university, Nova Scotia does have a higher-than-average student rate. The catch? That number is inflated by non-Nova Scotian students. Duguay says when you take out the students from the rest of Canada and beyond, we become distinctly average.

“It’s much more comparable. There’s not that much variation across the three (Maritime) provinces.”

That means it’s not that Nova Scotians love their higher education, but that universities here are better than others at recruiting students from away.

 
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