About the Conference

Whether they are older, work fulltime, have a disability, are a single parent, first-generation or Indigenous, today’s students bring unique ambitions, needs and motivations to the classroom. The non-traditional student is becoming the new normal. Is the Canadian postsecondary system ready to respond? HEQCO’s 7th annual conference will examine the systems, programs and strategies that lead to greater postsecondary participation, retention and attainment. Join us as we tackle today’s most pressing issues including barriers to pursuing higher education, the role of parents and community, current research on student demographics, best practice in access and retention, inclusive design and assessment.

Non-traditional students are on the increase in all areas of postsecondary education. A recent international conference on universities estimated that non-traditional students now make up the majority of the student body. Already a global leader in postsecondary participation, Canada is experiencing an increasingly diverse enrolment that demands new and more inclusive approaches to higher education, beginning with effective interventions that begin well before high school.

When the “typical student” is non-traditional, it’s time to rethink access and retention in higher education.