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40% of Canadian postsecondary students have considered withdrawing

Chelsea Parker

Chelsea Parker

Aug 30, 2022

Earlier this year, and for the second year, we partnered with Angus Reid to create the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study, with the intent to understand current postsecondary student feelings toward study, stress, cheating, optimism for the future, and more. 

2022-STUDENT-WELLBEING-CANADA (social image - chapter 3)

Throughout this summer, chapters of the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study have been published with the latest, Chapter 3: Student Stress, Intent to Withdraw, & Optimism now accessible for download. This chapter explores current stress levels of students, their feelings and consideration towards withdrawing from their college/university, and their optimism for the future.

This latest chapter, which surveyed 1,014 post-secondary students in Canada, includes insights such as:

  • 62% of students aged 18-21 say they feel stressed by studying/schoolwork every single day, compared to 48% of those 22+
  • Domestic students express significantly more stress than international students, though international students are twice as likely to say it’s been difficult for them being away from friends/family
  • 40% of students have seriously considered dropping out of university, up 5% from 2021
  • 51% of students describe their overall wellbeing as good or very good, up 6% from 2021
  • 64% of Canadian postsecondary students remain at least somewhat optimistic about their employment outlook after college/university

Professor Judyth Sachs, our Chief Academic Officer here at Studiosity, says “Although two-in-five students have considered withdrawing from their college or university at one point, it is comforting to see that a significant majority of students are still feeling optimistic about their future, up a modest amount from 2021. It is a testament to universities that they have been focusing on student safety and wellbeing through some of the most difficult years, making students feel supported and listened to throughout the challenges of the pandemic.”

 On the topic of pessimism regarding job prospects after leaving college/university, there was a prevalence of comments around internships and co-op placements being ways to combat those feelings as well as a desire to get a taste of real-world work scenarios. One student remarked, “I think that it feels overwhelming to get a job. I feel anxious because if I am doing bad in school, how am I supposed to get a good job.” Another student said, “My university is very focused on employment. I have done 6 co-op term which the university supported.”

Some students even go on to explain their struggle with motivation and belief in their own abilities, as seen in the following comment: “Encouragement that grad students who excel can get hired... I know that not every single student can be guaranteed a hire, but when the culture says basically nobody gets hired in academic post grad school, it lessens the quality of my work for fear of the future.”

This chapter on Student Stress, Intent to Withdraw, & Optimism includes benchmarked data from the 2021 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study to understand the evolution of student thoughts and feelings. Future chapters include insights into student study habits, transitioning to postsecondary, and more.

About the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study

This survey was conducted among 1,014 current postsecondary students in Canada. The sample frame was balanced to ensure representation and statistical significance of gender and region in proportion to their overall share of the Canadian postsecondary student population. For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted in English and French.


Looking to read the full chapter?

Click here to find out more and be notified as future chapters are released


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