Study shows Northerners face barriers to post-secondary education

Posted on July 17th, 2018

A new study published by researchers at Nipissing University finds evidence that individuals from the northernmost areas of Canada’s provinces continue to experience significant barriers on the road to attending university or community college. 

The study, “Proximity, Prosperity, and Participation: Examining Access to Postsecondary Education among Youth in Canada’s Provincial North”published in Rural Sociology by Dr. David Zarifa, Dr. Darcy Hango, and Dr. Roger Pizarro Milian, used data from four waves of the Statistics Canada Youth in Transition Survey to explore differences in post-secondary education participation rates across geographical regions. 

Through their research, the publishers have proof what they suspected and that is that youth from southern, urban regions in Canada have a sizeable advantage when it comes to accessing post-secondary education.  

The lead author of the study, Dr. Zarifa, Canada Research Chair in in Life Course Transitions in Northern and Rural Communities and Professor of Sociology at Nipissing, says that a number of factors contribute to observed differences across regions.

“Northern, rural residents are doubly disadvantaged,” stated Dr. Zarifa. 

“Not only do they reside far away from colleges and universities, but their sociodemographic profiles are characterized by lower incomes and lower parental education on average, along with a host of traits known to hamper post-secondary education participation.”

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