Memorial’s distance registrations remain constant
by Kristine Hamlyn
Memorial University’s distance education registrations have remained constant this year. Fall 2007 registrations are in at 4,776 while fall 2006 had 4,801, a difference of only 25. Of these registrations, 19.5 per cent are from outside the province while Newfoundland and Labradorians account for the other 80.5 per cent.
“We have put a significant effort into marketing our distance education offerings this year,” says Ann Marie Vaughan, director, Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT). “We have coupled traditional advertising such as print, radio and most recently the web, with unique street-level marketing initiatives around this province and Toronto’s downtown core.”
In August DELT hired Memorial University alumni to dress in academic robes and greet passers by with mock degrees prompting them to visit www.distance.mun.ca to enter to win a free distance course and laptop computer.
The Memorial alum targeted visiting rural Newfoundlanders/mature students at the Bannerman Park Folk Festival and Busker Festival and traveled outside the metro area to the Brigus Blueberry Festival and Terra Nova Folk Festival. Torontonians populating the ever busy areas of Queen Street West, Union Station and the Harbourfront were also met with the same academic robe-wearing greeters, and they could also run into former Memorial students on the subway lines, wearing slippers and studying on laptops labelled with a Memorial@Home sticker. The subway riders sat in subway car seats below an interior transit advertisement directing people to “Complete a degree from home or wherever you are,” with an arrow pointing to the seat below.
“We’ve gotten quite a response from the approach to marketing we’ve taken this year,” says Ms. Vaughan. She is hoping the initiatives will translate into more registrations for the winter semester as well.
“We will continue our efforts and out of the box thinking into the fall and winter recruitment cycles,” she says. “It is definitely helping to get us noticed.”
Undergraduate distance registrations in the Faculty of Arts have increased a significant 13.0 per cent over last year, Education registrations are up 16.1 per cent, Human Kinetics and Recreation are up by 30.7 per cent, Maritime Studies by 12.1 per cent and Nursing has increased their distance registrations by 26.1 per cent over the same time last year.
“Serving the needs of mature students is paramount to why we exist and what we do in distance education,” said Ms. Vaughan. “Even with life, time or distance constraints, distance education can help in achieving educational goals.”
Memorial@Home is Memorial University of Newfoundland’s distance education service. Currently, over 350 undergraduate and graduate degree-credit courses are offered across 10 faculties and schools. For more information visit www.distance.mun.ca.