Following Their Footsteps: What Happens to Students Who Move from Research Universities to Other BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions?

Prepared for the British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer (BCCAT) by Joanne Heslop, Manager, Student Transitions Project (STP)

Historically, student mobility in the BC public post-secondary system consisted mainly of students transferring from colleges and institutes into baccalaureate degree programs at a research university. This dichotomous system has evolved significantly over the past few decades to a system where every institution in the BC public post-secondary system now has degree-grant­ing authority. As a result, British Columbia has a differentiated post-secondary system in which different kinds of institutions provide students with a wide range of educational program op­tions and numerous opportunities for credential completion.

Given the numerous education choices and pathways avail­able in BC, students tend to navigate their way through the education system in a variety of ways in order to achieve their goal. The Student Transitions Project (STP) conducted a study for BCCAT to help education planners and policy makers gain a better understanding of one of those pathways – the route from research-intensive universities (RIUs) to other BC public post-secondary institutions. This newsletter briefly highlights some of the findings from the study, from a short-range and long-range perspective.

The full newsletter is available at

August 2011