Local students’ top choices in universities and colleges

By Roderick Benns

What school is right for you, or your son or daughter?

Data from Trillium Lakelands District School Board shows where area students most want to go to college and university – and what they’re interested in studying.

Laura Blaker, communications officer with Trillium Lakelands District School Board, says the data was based on survey work with students. The sampling is not 100 per cent accurate, she says, “because we aren’t able to make 100 per cent contact with all of our graduates.”

However, Blaker notes that “we believe this data paints a relatively clear picture.”

This year’s survey included 400 students, approximately a third of the graduating class.

In the university category, perhaps it’s no surprise that Trent University in Peterborough comes out on top, given its close proximity to Lindsay. Trent, situated scenically on the the Otonabee River, is a liberal arts and science-oriented university.

Local students’ top choices in universities and colleges
Trent University in Peterborough.

But Trent boasts more than proximity for Trillium Lakelands students — including a Maclean’s Magazine ranking of Ontario’s number one undergraduate university for seven years in a row, and number three in Canada.

About 13.5 per cent of students graduating from Trillium Lakelands choose to attend Trent.

In second place is Queen’s University in Kingston, a mid-sized school that is one of Canada’s oldest degree-granting institutions. Queen’s has a reputation as a research-intensive university that conducts leading-edge research in such areas as computational science and engineering, globalization studies, and social issues such as poverty, among other areas.

About 12.7 percent of Trillium Lakelands students choose Queen’s University.

The University of Ottawa is the third most popular choice. It’s the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. The university boasts more than 40,000 students, more than 450 programs in 10 faculties, and has the largest law school in Canada.

About 11.5 per cent of area students choose the capital region’s University of Ottawa.

What They’re Studying in University

The top education pathways for Trillium Lakelands students who are studying at the university level, in order, are:

  1. professional and business studies
  2. sciences
  3. fine arts
  4. social sciences
  5. engineering
  6. humanities
  7. math and computer science
  8. medical

College Level

At the college level – and mimicking the data at the university level – the top college for area students is the closest one, Fleming College. A full 33.6 per cent of students are choosing it.

Local students’ top choices in universities and colleges
Fleming College’s Frost Campus, Lindsay.

Fleming has its main campus in nearby Peterborough and also has Frost Campus here in Lindsay, with its well-known School of Natural Resources.

There are two other campuses in Haliburton and Cobourg. More than 5,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students attend Fleming.

In second place for Trillium Lakelands students is Georgian College with its 11,000 full-time domestic and 1,500 international students across seven campuses. The largest campus is in Barrie. The college is well known for its co-op programs.

About 19 per cent of Trillium Lakelands students choose Georgian.

In third place is Durham College, based mainly in Oshawa and Whitby. It is known for its shared campus and facilities with University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

The college, in conjunction with UOIT and private investment, has developed a high degree of laptop-based learning.

About 12.7 per cent of students are choosing this school from the board’s catchment area.

What They’re Studying in College

At the college level there is nearly a four-way tie for students. Community development is slightly on top, with such careers as social work.

Right behind it are the skilled trades, health sciences, and business and career pathways. The vast majority of students are choosing these four college pathways.

These four areas of study are followed by arts, environmental studies, and computer sciences.

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