The vast majority of immigrants arrive in Québec with a human capital that should allow them to quickly enter the job market.

However, given the high rate of unemployment among immigrants and the phenomenon of professional dequalification that they face, many recent immigrants attend university to improve their employability. Our research documented the factors that influence academic persistence, based on a survey of nearly 1,000 permanent resident students (PRS) and 400 teachers in six post-secondary institutions.

There is a need for effective political measures in favour of integration and against discrimination.

Many PRSs attested to the subtle or blatant discrimination that marked their job search or work experience. Also, a number of factors relating to the personal and social situation of the PRS, and intimately linked to their migratory path, can adversely affect persistence. PRSs face additional challenges such as mastering the language of instruction and understanding certain educational and cultural aspects of the training programs.

PRSs must deal with the combined pressure of academic life and the acculturation process. To relieve the stress and support their academic persistence, there is a need for effective political measures in favour of integration and against discrimination, targeted institutional measures to make resources visible and accessible, and training/teaching/ learning dynamics that are open to diversity.

Main researcher

Fasal Kanouté, Université de Montréal


Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: November 2014