Post-Secondary Education Study Gets Underway on West Shore

The Province is providing $1.5 million to develop a full business case for expanding post-secondary education opportunities for students living on Greater Victoria’s West Shore.

The business case follows a recently completed feasibility study announced in April 2018. The final report was submitted to the Province in March 2019.

The report was the product of community partners, including parents, students, School District 62 (Sooke), First Nations, municipalities and three public post-secondary institutions. They assessed the post-secondary education needs and accessibility issues on the West Shore. The feasibility study concluded the next step would be funding a full business case.

The business case will include advanced student enrollment modelling, detailed academic curriculum design, infrastructure needs, site selection and design, as well as a detailed financial analysis and timelines.

The business case will conform with provincial government standards as outlined in the government’s Capital Asset Management Framework and the ministry’s Capital Asset Reference Guide. These guides help public post-secondary institutions with the planning, approval and implementation of capital projects.

Community partners, including students and parents, will continue to be involved in the local planning process. Royal Roads University will work with local First Nations, School District 62, West Shore municipalities, Camosun College, the University of Victoria and the District of Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, as well as the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

West Shore municipalities include the City of Colwood, the City of Langford, the District of Metchosin, the District of Highlands and the Town of View Royal, as well as the District of Sooke.

Quick Facts:

  • According to Statistics Canada, the West Shore is one of the fastest growing regions in Canada, with a population increase of 49% between 2001 and 2016, and projected growth of 27% over the next decade. This rapid growth is skewed toward a younger demographic.
  • The region has a larger share of persons under the age of 15 years (17.1%), compared to the provincial average (14.9%).
  • Six-year high school completion rates are at a 20-year high in School District 62 (76.3% in 2016-17) and have generally trended upward since 1999-20 (63.1%), but are below the province wide average of 84%.
  • Direct transition rates of high school graduates to all types of post-secondary institutions in School District 62 lag behind the provincial average. The five-year (2011-12 to 2015-16) historic average is 43.2%, compared to 52.5% in all of B.C.
  • West Shore high school graduates are transitioning to university at much lower rates than their counterparts in other parts of B.C., with 17.2% of graduates attending university, almost half the provincial average of 34.1%.
  • The 2018 edition of the B.C. Labour Market Outlook forecast 903,000 job openings in the next decade until 2028, due to a mixture of retirements and economic growth. About 77% of job openings will require some level of post-secondary education or training.

Click here to view the BC Government news release.

Click here to view the Chek News article.