Newcomer youth are heading off to university and colleges in numbers greater than non-immigrants, according to a report prepared for Crime Prevention Ottawa.

The report is called Making the Grade: Immigrant Youth in Post-Secondary Education and was authored by Jennifer Rae with the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services. The report was delivered in February, 2018.

“High rates of post-secondary access have been found among immigrant youth across all levels of family income and across all levels of parental education,” the report reads.

That findings show that immigrant youth and their families place a great emphasis on higher education. “Immigrant parents foster a culture of education … and encourage their children to pursue college and university.”

This is despite some of the challenges newcomers face. For example, newcomers might be dealing with language issues or financial challenges. Newcomers also have to navigate a new culture and an educational system that might not be familiar to them. They also, unfortunately, sometimes face discrimination.

However, the report identified higher education as critical in ensuring immigrants can fully participate in the labour market.

Research suggests when immigrants are educated in Canada, they earn more money and more of them are employed.

Young immigrants are also less likely to drop out of school and more likely to pursue a post-secondary education, especially at the university level.

The report also noted community-based programs are needed to provide supports to ensure immigrant youth “continue to experience positive educational outcomes.”

At the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, our youth program helps prepare newcomer students prepare for post-secondary education life. Sometimes it’s in a workshop setting or one-on-one with a youth counsellor.

As well, our youth program hosts a number workshops and activities that help young newcomers learn more about Canadian culture, their community as well as meet friends, build confidence and connect to services.

Read the full report.