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REF NO.: 142

SUBJECT: Application numbers up at Memorial University

DATE: April 11

The numbers are in and they show that more people have applied to attend Memorial University this year than in either of the last two years. The recently released Undergraduate Application Summary Report for fall 2003 compared the undergraduate application numbers for 2001-2003 and revealed an overall boost in applications to the university.

Despite a slight decline noted in the Newfoundland high school student category, the report indicated an overall rise in application numbers. Applications from other Canadian provinces, namely Ontario, and from outside Canada increased by significant amounts.

Overall applications were up by 13 per cent which represented approximately 400 applicants. Memorial's Grenfell College campus in Corner Brook received the largest boost with an increase of 28 per cent or 95 applicants.

The report also indicated an increase of 217 per cent in applications from Ontario. In 2002, 56 people from Ontario applied to Memorial, while this year 178 people sent in applications from that province.

"Given the predicted decline in our province's high school student population, we have anticipated a drop in the number of local high school applicants for a while now," said Shona Perry-Maidment, interim director of the office of Student Recruitment at Memorial. "Memorial has reacted accordingly, altering student recruitment efforts to include a more detailed strategy for attracting out-of-province and international students in greater numbers. This is anticipated to counteract the current decline in Newfoundland applications and enrich the intellectual climate of the university for all."

"Memorial's current size and basic character as a medium-sized comprehensive university was affirmed in the university's Strategic Framework," said Glenn Collins, university registrar. "While our goal was to maintain our present size in the face of current demographic change, Memorial is improving its capacities to recruit and retain able students by communicating its strengths more effectively, creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for learners, and increasing the potential for educational success," he said. "As a result, our enrolment has surpassed our goal of approximately 15,000 students and is now approaching 17,000 students. Every member of the university community deserves some measure of credit for this success."

Dr. Michael Collins, associate vice-president (academic), who oversees strategic planning for student recruitment, is confident about Memorial's ability to attract the number of students required to maintain current enrolment levels. "The increased popularity of our province is rubbing off on our university," said Dr. Collins. "Playing host to the Juno awards in 2002 and setting the stage for successful films like The Shipping News and Random Passage are beginning to have noticeable benefits."

The significant rise in Ontario applicants can be attributed in large part to the double cohort, according to Dr. Collins. "To prepare for this rise in eligible Ontario students, Memorial has positioned two student recruitment officers in that province," he said. "We are confident that many will choose Newfoundland and Memorial as the best place to receive their post-secondary education."

Ranked in the top half of comprehensive universities in Canada by Maclean's Magazine, Memorial's recruiting materials underline the university's ability to provide a quality education to its students. "The Memorial advantage, as I think of it, includes relatively small classes, professors who are dedicated to helping students learn, and fellow students who are eager to help each other," said Dr. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic). "As the university's virtues and the Newfoundland quality of life become broadly known, we will have to be prepared to welcome more students from beyond the province because they will want to come for all these opportunities and others, such as our expanding co-op programs and our Harlow campus in Europe," he said, "and we will want to welcome them for the diversity they bring to our campuses and their generally excellent level of preparation for higher education."

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