The finalized enrolment report for the 2018/19 academic year confirms that total USask registration reached 25,703, an impressive overall increase of 3.2 per cent over the previous year and 7.6 per cent higher than four years ago – making 2018/19 the largest enrolment in the university’s history. The university’s proposed enrolment goals—Enrolment 2025, aligns with USask’s new seven-year plan to be The University the World Needs— and sets a goal of expanding enrolment to 28,000 by the year 2025.
“The University of Saskatchewan has managed its enrolment strategically for a number of years, and our new planning will map out enrolment goals to 2025 at the undergraduate, graduate and non-degree levels as well as considering the diversity of our student body,” said Alison Pickrell, assistant vice-provost, strategic enrolment management. “Our future students are expected to come from within Saskatchewan, from other provinces, and internationally, from across the globe. And of course, enrolling and graduating more Indigenous students—is one of our top priorities here at USask as we continue our commitments to Indigenization and Reconciliation.”
While some universities in other regions of the country have experienced declines in applications and student numbers over the past few years, President Peter Stoicheff sees the enrolment growth as a strong endorsement of the university’s direction, “With our new university plan, we are determined to meet the needs of the province, and to significantly increase our global impact. With our plan, and with the province and the city both projecting population increases over the coming years, we are well positioned to meet the expected growth in demand of Saskatchewan students, while also making the university an attractive destination for students from across the country and from around the world.”
In the final enrolment report for the 2018/19 academic year, the university’s undergraduate student body increased 3.3 per cent from the previous year, while graduate students were up 4.2 per cent. The university’s self-declared Indigenous student body is also on the rise, growing 7 per cent to a total of 3,320 this year, an increase of 8.1 per cent among graduate students and 7.2 per cent for undergraduates. USask also welcomed more international students this academic year, with 3,403 registered, resulting in an increase of 10.9 per cent.
Another promising trend was the university’s graduation numbers continuing to rise, up 0.8 per cent overall. The university’s expanded enrolment crossed over multiple colleges and schools including the College of Education up 14.2 per cent, the College of Kinesiology up 10.2 per cent, and the Edwards School of Business experiencing a 9.8 per cent surge in students.
Saskatchewan continues to be home for the majority of USask students, with the province providing 66 per cent of the student body, while the international student body continues to become increasingly diverse. The largest contingent of international students continues to come from China, at 40 per cent for undergraduates and 17 per cent for graduate students.
Managing the university’s increase in student numbers has taken a strategic, planned approach.
“Our enrolment numbers for the past few years are very strong, and we are carefully managing that growth as we continue to implement new academic programming to meet changing student needs, while also maximizing capacity and availability within our existing programs,” said Patti McDougall, vice-provost, teaching, learning and student experience. “At the same time, we are putting considerable effort into maintaining and enhancing student services to meet the growing demand.”