Census news mostly good, & new report will help in future
There’s mostly good news from the U of S’s annual Census Day this fall.
Not only are many of the numbers in the Oct. 12 official tally of students positive, but one official says the report has been redesigned to provide so much detailed, useful information that it will become an invaluable roadmap for the University.
Kelly McInnes, Registrar and Director of Academic Services & Financial Assistance, says beyond the generally good numbers is a document that will help managers in colleges, departments and senior administration clearly chart U of S progress toward the goals it recently set for itself in the Enrolment Plan and overall University Integrated Plan.
But first the 2004 numbers.
Total enrolment is stable – at 19,763 this fall, which is up by 39 students, or 0.2 per cent, from the 19,724 in 2003.
Of concern, McInnes says, is the fact that there was a slight decrease in undergraduate student numbers – to 16,915 this fall, a decrease of 78 student, or 0.46 per cent, from last year’s 16,993.
But she says the good news is on the graduate student front, an area targeted for growth in the University’s strategic directions and Enrolment Plan. Total grad students rose to 1,969 this fall, up 121 students, or 6.5 per cent, over last year’s 1,848.
And McInnes says it’s especially encouraging that most of that grad student growth came in the form of doctoral students. Their numbers rose to 556 in 2004, up 61 students, or 12.3 per cent, over the 495 PhD students at the U of S in 2003.
Master’s student numbers rose to 1,353 this fall, up 66 students, or 5.1 per cent, over last year’s 1,287.
Post-grad clinical numbers slipped by 10 students, to 221 this fall, and non-degree student numbers rose by six, to 658.
McInnes says another heartening finding is that College of Agriculture’s enrolment has rebounded after a number of years of decline. It gained 45 students over last year, rising to 560 students in 2004, up from 515 in ’03.
Other colleges that gained students this year over last were: Unclassified (up 22, to 1,880), Pharmacy & Nutrition (up 16, to 432), Kinesiology (up 15, to 499), Medicine (up 12, to 237), and Veterinary Medicine (up 3, to 283).
On the downside, the following colleges had lower student numbers this fall over last: Arts & Science (down 71, to 7,701), Education (down 55, to 1,120), Nursing (down 28, to 757), and Commerce (down 28, to 1,536).
Enrolment in Physical Therapy, Law, Engineering and Dentistry was virtuallly unchanged.
The overall number of international students at the U of S rose by 89 since 2003, to 1,196. That was made up of 28 additional undergraduates, 70 additional graduate students, and 9 fewer post-grad clinical and non-degree international students. As of Oct. 12 there are 681 undergraduate international students and 515 graduate international students at the University.
McInnes says there are a couple of concerns in the census numbers this year, beyond the slight decrease in undergraduate numbers.
First, total credit units being taken by all students fell by 1.12 per cent, to 416,206 this fall from 420,912 last fall. That hurts tuition revenue, McInnes points out.
And second, the number of new undergraduate students in the six direct-entry colleges fell by 151 this fall, compared to 2003. Last year they attracted 5,276 new students, but this year only 5,125.
McInnes says more data will be compiled on the 2004 enrolment and a more detailed report will be issued later this month – and it will look at factors like number of applications received, admission offers made by the U of S, the number of actual registrants, and their entrance average marks.
And she says detailed college-by-college profiles will be generated, so that admissions and recruitment staff can work more closely with each college on their own enrolment goals and trends.
“This isn’t just a Registrar’s report any more,” McInnes says. “It’s a real collaboration between Recruitment & Admissions, Academic Services, the Integrated Planning Office and the Institutional Analysis unit” on a relevant and useful census report.
“It will help the colleges with their enrolment goals and it will help us see how we’re doing on our overall undergraduate and graduate enrolments, Aboriginal enrolments, international students, and other things,” McInnes says.
“This new reporting format is one way to show that we’re taking Integrated Planning and the Enrolment Plan seriously. We’re acting on it and we’re going to be reporting on it every year.”
The Enrolment Plan’s goals are, by 2010, to increase total enrolment to 21,000 students, made up of 18,500 undergraduates and 2,500 graduates. It also aims to increase international enrolment to seven or eight per cent of the total. It’s now six per cent. And it wants 15 per cent of non-international undergraduate students to come from outside of Saskatchewan.