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P.E.I. retains 59 per cent of university graduates: study

Graduates parade into the Chi-Wan Young sports centre on the UPEI campus for the annual Mother's-Day-weekend graduation ceremony. It was the largest UPEI class in history, just four graduates short of 900.
Graduates parade into the Chi-Wan Young sports centre on the UPEI campus for the annual graduation ceremony in this file photo.

Prince Edward Island’s rate of retention for university graduates remains steady at 59 per cent, a study released Wednesday shows.

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission’s study draws on survey data from five university graduating classes over 15 years exploring retention rates of graduates two years after completing their first degree.

Results from the class of 2014 show Prince Edward Island retained 59 per cent of graduates, New Brunswick retained 57 per cent and Nova Scotia 54 per cent after two years.

The commission says over the last 15 years, these rates have remained within the margins in both New Brunswick and P.E.I. Nova Scotia saw a drop of seven percentage points over the same time period.

The commission says the study exposes the complexity of migration patterns among the region’s graduates. It demonstrates that a graduate’s province of origin is a strong determinant of the province of residence two years following graduation.

“The provinces retain much higher percentages of graduates who were living in that same province prior to enrolling, than those who came to study in the province from outside the region,” said the commission’s interim CEO Catherine Stewart.

As for the drop in Nova Scotia’s retention rate, the commission says the proportion of the graduating class who came to study in that province from outside the region has doubled from 18 to 36 per cent since 1999, impacting the overall rate.  

The commission’s infographic can be found on its website:

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