Lessons in Learning – June 26, 2008
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
Collection: Research Materials
Taking a “gap year” between high school and postsecondary education is a common practice in the United Kingdom and Australia, but less common in Canada. “Gappers” choose to delay enrolment for any of a number of reasons, including the need to earn money to pay for further studies or a desire to travel.
The authors of this paper note that delaying postsecondary enrolment carries both risks and benefits in terms of academic achievement and potential earnings. It is clear, however, that earning a post-secondary credential is beneficial, whether or not students delay their initial enrolment.
Current practices in the United Kingdom and Australia offer lessons for Canada in how to encourage gappers to return to their studies. For example, one financial services company in the United Kingdom has established a program that allows high school graduates to take a gap year that includes nine months of paid employment with the company; a post-employment bursary; and annual bursaries during the student’s university studies.