Not all postsecondary students in Atlantic Canada remained at the same university or college until they graduated.

Among students aged 17 to 20 who had enrolled in a university in the four Atlantic provinces during the fall of either 2002 or 2003, one-third had left their university within two years, according to a new study released yesterday by Statistics Canada.

Of all the students who left, about 25 per cent switched to another school to pursue their postsecondary studies.

Of the remaining students who left, about a quarter returned to school.

When switchers and students who left and then returned were removed from the count, the dropout rate among Atlantic universities during this period dropped from 33 per cent to about 18 per cent.

The study, which was done only on students at Atlantic universities, found men were more likely to leave their post-secondary program than women. Women were more likely to switch schools than men.

Most students who switched schools stayed in the same province.

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