London’s non profit sector is helping retain students in the city after their graduation.
Each April, hundreds of Western University and Fanshawe College students leave London, Ontario for job opportunities in other cities. Student retention in the city has been a contentious topic; last semester, Western University held a conference discussing retention, and inviting key members of the community to discuss solutions.
According to Amir Farahi, executive director at the London Institute, “almost 85% of Western students leave the city” post graduation. However, the statistics are not as dire for Fanshawe students – Farahi adds that over 80% of Fanshawe graduates stay in the city.
Pillar Nonprofit Network is an established network in the city, helping non profit organizations in the city achieve their mission and community impact. The network, established in 2001, is encouraging young graduates to connect with them, and consider a career in non-profit. Andre Vashist, the Social Finance Manager, believes many students are leaving because of employment opportunities.
“I hope (the city) can continue to build on our relationships with colleges and universities here in London,” Vashist adds, “Fanshawe moving downtown is a great opportunity to engage these students, and revitalize the downtown core.”
Along with low student retention, London is also working with an aging population. According to the Policy and Planning Support Committee, London’s population aged over 65 years has increased by 11% in the past 7 years.