With the new academic year now in full swing, the University of Lethbridge is pleased to welcome all new and returning students — all 8,724 of them — to its Lethbridge and Calgary campuses. Overall enrolment increased by 1.1 per cent from the previous fall and represents a record number of students studying at the U of L.
“We’re up 96 students from last year and that’s where we hoped to be,” says Kathleen Massey, associate vice-president (students). “There’s balanced growth at both the undergraduate and doctoral levels and that’s a healthy thing for a research university.”
The number of undergraduate students increased by nearly one per cent to 8,128, while the number of graduate students increased to 596, a boost of 3.7 per cent, and the number of new PhD students doubled from last fall. As well, nearly 500 First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students enrolled at the U of L for the Fall 2017 term, an increase of 2.5 per cent.
“I’m very pleased about the increase in Indigenous students,” says Massey. “The University has long been at the forefront of educational opportunities. With Roy (Pogorzelski) as our new director of Iikaiskini Gathering Place, we hope the University will be even more welcoming to our FNMI students. Roy, who is Métis, is well-known for his work on inclusion, human rights and reconciliation.”
The U of L is also seeing an increase in the number of new high school students, new transfer students and enrolment in Open Studies, which allows students to take courses for general interest without being formally admitted to a University program.
“We are progressing well toward our 2020 enrolment goals,” says Massey. “More people than ever are choosing the U of L; it’s an exciting time to be a U of L student. The increase this year is a sign of success and evidence that our outreach as a University is working.”
The U of L offers many relevant and top quality academic programs and research opportunities, international exchange and study abroad, practical career-related experiences through the AGILITY entrepreneurship and innovation program, co-op, internship, applied learning and opportunities to meet potential employers. Prospective students are invited to visit U of L campuses to see firsthand how the University can help them achieve their goals.
The program area showing the strongest growth is the Post-Diploma Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation. In other program areas, students have shown strong interest in the Pre-Professional Transfer Program in Engineering with more than a 35 per cent increase. Enrolment also increased in combined Arts & Science and Education programs, with an average 19 per cent increase. Interest is also strong in combined Management degrees, also averaging a 19 per cent increase.
“The University is making it a priority to serve the southern Alberta community and Alberta as a whole,” says Massey. “The more students we educate, the better equipped our population is to meet the needs of the province.”