On the heels of opening Science Commons, Canada’s most advanced facility for scientific research and education, the University of Lethbridge has set multiple enrolment records to begin the Fall 2019 semester.
Current total enrolment for the fall term is a U of L record at 8,956 students, representing a 2.2 per cent increase over last year’s enrolment of 8,767 students.
“It’s very exciting to see that students are responding to the amazing opportunities we have here at the U of L by making our school and our southern Alberta community their choice,” says Kathleen Massey, the U of L’s associate vice-president (students). “It’s also great to see that our growth is balanced, representing undergraduate, graduate, Indigenous and international students. All segments of our student body have seen measured increases, which is testament to the excellence of our faculty, staff and program offerings across the board.”
Both the U of L’s Lethbridge and Calgary campuses boast impressive growth. The Lethbridge campus is now home to a record 8,265 students, an increase of 2.1 per cent over last fall, while the Calgary campus increased 2.7 per cent to 691 students.
Undergraduate student number hits all-time high
This year’s enrolment totals include a record number of undergraduate students, up 2.1 per cent to 8,318. Of the many factors contributing to that increase, the opening of Science Commons has to be considered a key driver. New Fall 2019 registrants to Bachelor of Science (BSc) programs offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science are up over 26 per cent from last year, while total BSc registrants are up nearly 10 per cent.
Graduate students recognizing opportunity
The number of graduate students is also at a record high, up 2.4 per cent to 638 students.
“Our graduate students now make up 7.1 per cent of our total student population,” says Massey. “More and more, the U of L is being recognized as a university that provides both an unparalleled undergraduate student experience, as well as a challenging and rewarding graduate student education.”
Indigenous student numbers continue to rise
The U of L is a leading voice in reconciliation initiatives and strives to create an inclusive and welcoming campus atmosphere for Indigenous students, as reflected in continuing steady enrolment growth.
In each of the past three years, Indigenous student enrolment has increased, and this year’s numbers reflect a new record, with Indigenous student enrolment up an impressive 9.4 per cent to 561 students. Indigenous students now represent 6.3 per cent of the total student population.
International students taking notice
One of the most impressive enrolment numbers of the fall is that of international students, increasing by 17 per cent to 572 students. The University has made it a priority to attract the international student audience and students are responding. International students now make up 6.4 per cent of the total student population.
“The U of L campus community represents 95 countries and is a diverse cultural mosaic,” adds Massey. “What our international students add to our campus is immeasurable. This diversity provides an invaluable opportunity for all of our students, faculty and staff to benefit from an enriching learning environment that reflects many different perspectives and world views.”
Other numbers of note include an increase in new high school students, up to 1,287 from 1,246 in Fall 2018, while the new transfer student population climbed to 856 students from 791 in Fall 2018, an increase of 8.2 per cent.