Queen’s plans to add 3,000 students over next two years

Senate has approved enrolment targets for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, as well as issuing projections for the 2016-17 year.

The figures were included in a report put forward by the Strategic Enrolment Management Group (SEMG) on March 26. According to the report, the University is seeking to increase total enrolment by 3,000 students over the next two years, from 20,764 full-time students in fall 2013 to 23,002 in fall 2016.

The report was reviewed by the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) at a meeting on April 9.

Five members voted to recommend that Senate approve the projections; two members voted against it. SCAD was concerned with the strain of increased enrolment on university resources and the quality of learning at Queen’s.

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison, chair of the SEMG, said the University Librarian, the Division of Student Affairs and the School of Graduate Studies were involved in enrolment planning to ensure that student services can meet the needs of additional students.

“A number of faculties and programs have the capacity to accept some additional upper year students and there has been a growing interest in undertaking recruitment activities aimed specifically at students transferring from other universities and colleges,” he said by email.

According to the report, Ontario is currently seeing a decrease in high school applicants due to an overall demographic decline in 18-year-olds, with a 10 per cent total fall projected through 2020. At the same time, non-high school applicants have increased by 10 per cent for 2014-15.

The report advocates pursuing transfer enrolment in upcoming years in order to mitigate this decrease, as well as pursuing mature and part-time students.

Harrison said while Queen’s has always welcomed transfer students, recruitment activities have traditionally been focused on prospective first-years.

“The university’s revenues are closely tied to enrolment,” Harrison said.

“We are projecting modest increases in enrolment over the next two years, which will enable the university to invest in faculty renewal and student services. This helps enrich the student learning experience and ensure the financial sustainability of the university.”

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