First 4 Years in Canada: Post-secondary Education Pathways of Highly Educated Immigrants

  • Maria Adamuti-TracheEmail author


This paper addresses issues relevant to the socioeconomic integration of highly educated immigrants in Canada by undertaking a secondary analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada. It illustrates the promptness of immigrants’ participation in further post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada within the first 4 years of arrival and proposes a typology of PSE pathways to examine individual, situational, dispositional and immigrant-specific factors that determine adult immigrants’ choices. The Canadian immigrant experience involves the interplay between structural constraints and agency to shape individualized pathways along which newcomers use existing human capital to create new forms of human capital (Canadian credentials) as a strategy to improve their employment opportunities.

Mots clés

intégration socio-économique immigrants adultes très instruits éducation postsecondaire action limitée 


Cet article utilise les données provenant de l’Enquête longitudinale auprès des immigrants du Canada (ELIC) ayant comme but d’examiner les contraintes de l’intégration socio-économique des immigrants très instruits. L’étude montre que presque la moitié de tous les immigrants adultes s’inscrivent dans un établissement d’enseignement postsecondaire canadien au cours des quatre premières années suivant leur arrivée. L’analyse des voies d’accès à l’éducation postsecondaire (EPS) révèle les conditions personnelles et situationnelles influençant la participation et le choix des immigrants adultes. L’expérience des nouveaux immigrants au Canada exemplifie l’interaction entre l’action d’agents et les contraintes structurelles dont le résultat est des trajectoires individualisées; au long de leur trajectoire professionnelle, les immigrants utilisent leur capital humain pour créer de nouvelles formes de capital humain et symbolique (les qualifications canadiennes) comme stratégie pour améliorer leur chance de trouver un emploi.


Socioeconomic integration Highly educated adult immigrants Post-secondary education Bounded agency 



The analyses in this report are based on data from Statistics Canada. The opinions and interpretation expressed by the authors do not represent the views of Statistics Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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