“Our U of S family continues to grow, and I welcome our students to another school year of innovation, curiosity and creativity,” said Alison Pickrell, assistant vice-provost of strategic enrolment management. “This enrolment growth is something we have planned for, and I’m very happy with our progress.”
Pickrell expects student numbers to continue to grow throughout the year and anticipates the total academic year enrolment (which includes fall, winter, spring and summer terms) to exceed 25,000 students when announced in June 2019.
The U of S has a strategic growth agenda with a plan to increase the overall academic year enrolment to 28,000 by 2025, according to Pickrell. She is part of a team tasked with identifying strategic enrolment growth opportunities and has begun to implement some of those strategies.
“A number of our colleges have strategically increased seats, including the College of Kinesiology, the College of Engineering and the Edwards School of Business,” said Pickrell. “We have also made strides in offering programming outside of Canada—we have recently partnered with Beijing Normal University to offer our master’s in water security.”
Both international and Indigenous student enrolment increased dramatically as of the first day of classes. 2,368 international students are registered in classes, up 5.9 per cent compared to last year, and 2,672 Indigenous students are registered, up 11.3 per cent.
“More international students want to study in Canada, and as one of the top 15 research intensive universities in the country, people from around the world are choosing to study here at the University of Saskatchewan,” said Pickrell. “Our diverse student body is one of our greatest strengths and contributes to the fact that we are well positioned to contribute to the global needs of our society.”
U of S international students are from 107 countries around the world, and China, Nigeria and India are the top three countries where students are coming from this term, according to Pickrell.
Pickrell attributes the large increase of Indigenous students enrolled at the U of S to a number of factors such as student recruitment strategies, comprehensive student supports, an active and engaged Indigenous student body, and the fact that overall the young Indigenous population of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan is on the rise.
“The province is growing and young Indigenous people make up a lot of that new growth,” said Pickrell. “These enrolment numbers show me there is a young Indigenous demographic that is ready and eager to pursue their post-secondary studies at the U of S.”