Province eyes West Shore post-secondary institution

University student

The BC government is spending $1.5-million to develop a case for expanding post-secondary education opportunities for students on the West Shore.

The business case follows a recent feasibility study involving parents, students, Sooke School District 62, First Nations, and three public post-secondary institutions; including Royal Roads.

The study found the number of West Shore high school students entering university -- is well below the provincial average.

More than 17 per cent of residents are under the age of 15, compared to the provincial average of 14.9 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada, the region is one of the fastest growing areas in Canada, the population nearly doubling between 2001 and 2016, and projected growth of 27 per cent over the next decade.

West Shore high school graduates are transitioning to university at much lower rates than their counterparts in other parts of BC, with 17.2 per cent of graduates attending university, almost half the provincial average of 34.1 per cent.

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