"Our numbers are telling us that not only are we attracting new students to our community, we are retaining them—which means they are continuing their studies with us year after year," said Patti McDougall, vice-provost teaching and learning.
As of the first day of classes, on September 6, self-declared Aboriginal student enrolment went up by 8.4 per cent compared to this time last year, with a total of 2,244, and international student enrolment stayed relatively stable at 2,193 (down 1.2 per cent).
"Attracting and retaining motivated Aboriginal and international students is a priority for us," said McDougall. "Our new Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre is a safe and welcoming place that respects the diversity of all people, and will play a large role in the success of our diverse student body.
“Out of the top 15 research intensive universities in Canada, we are one of the top two institutions with the highest percentage of international graduate students—and that’s something we are very proud of.”
A complement of supports are also offered by staff at the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, which help students new to Canada acclimate to a different country, city and university.
McDougall said she expects the number of self-declared Aboriginal students to increase as the year goes on, with another self-identification campaign set to begin in late September.
Stemming from the university’s soon-to-be-completed vision, mission and values statement, work on a new enrolment plan will begin this academic year.
Developing a new plan is a campus-wide process in which stakeholders within the campus community will be invited to answer key questions regarding the future of the university, said McDougall.
“Together we will decide how big and how diverse we want to be,” said McDougall. “We’ll also decide such things as what percentage of our total student body should be made up of undergraduate and graduate students.”
Overall, as of the first day of classes, college and school enrolment numbers reflect the careful work being undertaken to manage enrolment and meet goals, said McDougall.
Edwards School of Business is an example of a college that planned an increase and got one—undergraduate and graduate student enrolment in the college is up 6.9 per cent as of the first day of classes.
“Students from around the world choose to study with us because we offer hands-on experiential learning in every area of study,” said Keith Willoughby, interim dean of the Edwards School of Business. “We have superb academic and program staff members, as well as a contingent of outstanding teacher-scholars. This enables us to offer our Edwards students a professional education that exceeds the expectations of potential employers.”
For more information, please contact:
Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning Service Team
University of Saskatchewan