This report highlights the challenges for students knowing that a person’s socioeconomic background, ethnicity, language, culture, citizenship, level of parental education, disability, age, gender, and/or geographic origin may all influence the likelihood of pursuing PSE. Some specific groups addressed include Indigenous students and African Nova Scotian students. Recommendations to improve accessibility for all of these students include more comprehensive data collection on student demographics, creating a more inclusive and supportive public education system, reforming financial assistance so that it can really break down barriers, and promoting diversity on campuses.
Given that access to post-secondary education is such a crucial determinant of social mobility in our modern economy, StudentsNS hopes this report will provide a deeper understanding on the lack of opportunities available for some Nova Scotians from historically oppressed or disadvantaged groups. A more educated Nova Scotia would be home to a more self-sufficient and independent population, all while greatly diminishing incidence of “disadvantage.” Nova Scotia has the potential to become a more unified province with a much stronger and truly “diversified” local economy.
The report was prepared by Bob Parker, former StudentsNS Director of Research, and reviewed by students from 6 campuses in Nova Scotia.