Ten-year report plans enrolment growth

Long-term initiative to decide size of university

With enrolment targets for the next two years passed by Senate late last month, a long-term, big picture document is in the works for an early 2014 release.

The enrolment plan for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years will increase enrolment targets for international and upper year transfer students.

It was approved by Senate on April 30 along with a motion supporting the creation of a long-term enrolment plan.

The report sent to Senate also contained preliminary enrolment projections for 2015-16, including a proposal to increase first-year Arts and Science enrolment by 450 students.

These figures are likely to change, however, once the long-term enrolment plan is complete.

“It will be thinking about the optimal size for the institution,” said Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison.

According to Harrison, who heads the Strategic Enrolment Management Group (SEMG), the document will discuss enrolment growth at Queen’s over the next 10 years. It will investigate the impact of higher enrolment on the student learning experience.

“The idea is to paint the grand canvas and fill in the details afterwards rather than doing it the other way around,” Harrison said.

Harrison said the details of the plan and the numbers for 2015-16 will depend on feedback from members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities.

“It will depend on the discussion that ensues across campus in the next few months,” he said.

“The intention, and the commitment, is to consult very widely.”

Without knowing the outcome of these upcoming debates, he said it’s impossible to know whether the projected figures will increase or decrease between now and 2015.

Queen’s has hired Urban Strategies, an urban design company, to create the Campus Master Plan. According to the company’s open house presentation last Thursday, Queen’s currently needs 10 per cent more space to accommodate its current student population.

The company reported that higher enrolment will intensify the need for space. According to their analysis, Queen’s requires an extra 25,000 square metres of development per 1,000 additional students.

The enrolment targets for the next two years, meanwhile, have been firmly established. The targets for international students entering first-year programs are set at 175 students for 2013-14 and 200 students for 2014-15. These targets, if met, will increase international enrolment from the 122 students accepted this past year.

“We have ramped up our international recruitment exercise, including a renewed, stronger focus on the northeastern states of the U.S.,” Harrison said.

He said it’s part of an effort to internationalize campus and make the student body more diverse.

The plan also set higher enrolment targets for upper-year transfer students in Engineering and Arts and Science, and reported that the School of Medicine plans to increase its enrolment by 10 students in 2014. The spots will be filled by international students.

Susan Anderson, the assistant director of the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), said the centre will look to electronic resources and large workshops to maintain the quality of its services.

QUIC will anticipate common problems for international students, she said, and provide workshops and web pages offering solutions. She added that these programs allow QUIC to service more students with the same number of staff.

“We’ll reserve personal contact for students with unique problems,” she said.

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