By 2028, New Brunswick’s working-age population will have a post-secondary education attainment rate equal to or greater
than the national average.
The PSE rate for New Brunswick has been increasing since 2010, from 56% up to 62%. However, it is not increasing in a way that translates to economic growth.
This increase is not due to an actual increase in post-secondary attendees. It is due to a decrease in the total population of New Brunswick since 2010 (2.5% decrease in total population ages 25-64 and a 10% decrease in population ages 18-24).
New Brunswick’s PSE attainment rate is the third lowest of all the provinces only surpassing Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Being closer to or reaching the national average would put us in much better standing compared to other provinces. As well, higher PSE attainment rates have the potential to translate to economic growth, and they may be necessary to avoid economic decline.
OneNS set a goal of increasing the proportion of Nova Scotia's working-age population that completed post-secondary education by 10 percentage points (from 2013). It is recommended that New Brunswick adopt a similar goal; however, rather than striving for specifically a 10-percentage point increase, the province should aim to achieve a PSE attainment rate equal to or greater than the Canadian average.