Enrollment statistics at any university is important. A drop in enrollment can affect all areas of a university, especially financially. How does UNBSJ keep track of such an important statistic? The enrollment statistics for UNBSJ are calculated four times every year; during the first semester, preliminary data is collected in October, while the final data is collected in mid-December. “This year’s preliminary data has reached the status quo,” says registrar, Mark Bishop.
Overall UNBSJ enrollment has been increasing over the past decade. This is likely due to the increased demand for university education among the job market. According to Statistics Canada, in 2009 82 per cent of the adult population with post-secondary education were employed, as opposed to the 55 per cent of adults with less than a high school education.
What typically causes the enrollment to drop at a university can have very little to do with the university itself and more to do with outside demographics. “Three or four years ago we had a drop in enrollment and it was caused by less students enrolling in high school,” says Bishop, “The university hired more recruitment staff and boosted the recruitment budget in order to get the enrollment back to where it should have been.” The university has both domestic recruiters and international recruiters who travel to try and attract students to UNBSJ. These recruiters typically operate in two ways, the first being the fair format, where Canadian universities will travel together to fairs where organized tours are set up and conferences are given. The second way that students are recruited happens with individual school visits, where recruitment staff travel to schools with specific potential where they give presentations in classrooms as well as meet with students individually.
“We’ve had a good couple of years,” says Bishop, “our goal is to reach more international students; our goal is to have 20 per cent of our student body comprise of international students. We are currently at 12 per cent.” The student body can rest easy knowing that the enrollment trend is heading in an upright direction and shows no signs of stopping.