Publications, opinions, and speeches
Aboriginal Peoples and Postsecondary Education in Canada
Published on 19/07/2006
The success of Aboriginal people in our postsecondary education (PSE) system is of vital interest to all Canadians. Aboriginal Peoples and Postsecondary Education in Canadareviews the empirical data about how Aboriginal peoples are doing in the PSE system and what the data suggests about strategies to improve these results.
The report finds some positive signs. In community colleges, Aboriginal PSE graduation is almost at a level with that of the general population. However, on the negative side, there are many fewer Aboriginal graduates from university, and the situation did not improve over the last several years. Most troubling, Aboriginal people are still failing to complete high school in hugely disproportionate numbers; for example, on Manitoba reserves as many as 70 percent of Aboriginals between the ages of 20 and 24 failed to complete high school (compared to about 16 percent among everyone aged 20 to 24).
A surprising and important finding in this paper is that Aboriginal high school graduates have about the same probability as anyone else (75 percent) of graduating with a PSE degree or diploma; the problem therefore is the rate of failure to complete high school. The author argues that, while it is unusual for a quantitative analysis to have direct policy implications, the data in this report clearly shows that high school graduation is the key to improving PSE outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.
ISBN – 1-55382-201-X