Study finds majority of UBCO graduates leave region, but plan to return

February 10, 2012

Research by a University of British Columbia Okanagan graduate student observes that a majority of graduates and alumni are not staying in the Okanagan, but many of them would like to. In a survey, 51% of respondents who graduated in 2011 said they were going to leave the area, while the percentage of alumni who said they left the region came in at 67%. Common factors that drove graduates to move include a lack of career opportunities in their chosen field, the high price of housing, and the high cost of living. "Quite a few people said the attitude of Kelowna is part of the reason. They found it quite stifling," the researcher says, adding that respondents also used comments like "not forward thinking" and "conservative." Many of those leaving said they would like to stay in the Okanagan, and half said they hope they can move back to Kelowna when they get some work experience. One recommendation the researcher has is for the community and UBCO to work together to establish more programs so students can gain valuable work experience. UBCO News Release