Newcomers thrive

It’s not surprising that the children of immigrants are attending university at higher rates than children from families that have been in Canada for many generations. This fact, however, shouldn’t kick off a rush to defund programs that help new immigrants.

A Statistics Canada study has shown that Canadians from immigrant backgrounds are significantly more likely to attend university than students whose parents were both born in Canada.

This reality can probably be attributed to the values that immigrant parents have in regards to education. Many of these parents are hyper-aware of what their home country lacked and consequently, they encourage their children to take advantage of the possibilities afforded to them in a place like Canada.

These parents are more likely to encourage their children to study in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. This is in contrast to the mentality of more longstanding Canadian families, who tend to have a more lax approach to education that sometimes centres on a “do what makes you happy” type of attitude.

While immigrants and their children are obviously seeing success and many new immigrants to Canada are well-off compared to other Canadians, government programs and initiatives that help immigrants shouldn’t end. Immigrants arrive in Canada without connections and with significant cultural and linguistic barriers in their way. For people in this vulnerable position, government programs are necessary.

All Canadians should embrace the success of relative newcomers to our country as it means we’re a country where people from different identities and social classes can be successful. Non-immigrant parents should consider adopting the education-focused attitudes that see children from immigrant backgrounds thrive.

— Journal Editorial Board

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