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REF NO.: 38

SUBJECT: Enrolments at Memorial on steady climb

DATE: Sept. 30

Enrolment at Memorial University of Newfoundland has risen once again, a trend that can be traced back to the 1998/99 academic year. Since then, full-time enrolment has increased by 10.8 per cent, with undergraduate enrolment up 8.7 per cent and graduate enrolment up 37 per cent.

This year, full-time graduate students have increased by a remarkable 5.1 per cent over last year's 1,388 enrolment. Memorial's full-time undergraduate enrolment is now 13,184 on par with last year.

An aggressive recruiting campaign by the university which includes visits to high schools in the province and many visits to the Maritimes, Ontario, western Canadian provinces and international destinations has yielded an increase in full-time first year students for both the St. John's and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College campuses. First-year enrolment has increased by 1.9 per cent at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and 1.0 per cent on the St. John'scampus, something director of Student Recruitment Sheila Devine attributes to Memorial's many attractive features.

"Prospective students have really begun to take notice. There are a lot of great things about the university to promote: fantastically low tuition, choice of campuses, comprehensive course selection, international study opportunities, top-notch faculty and more."

Tom Hedderson, minister of Education, says the government is pleased to see that its pledge to hold the line on tuition fees for the next three years, as stated in the White Paper on Public Post-Secondary Education, is supporting improved enrolment. "When you consider inflation, we are not only maintaining the tuition freeze, but in real dollars we are actually funding a decline in tuition fees," says Minister Hedderson. "Not only are students and parents benefiting from more affordable post-secondary education, but the institutions themselves can promote the lower fees as part of their marketing initiatives. This is a competitive advantage that says good things about the future of education in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Chet Jablonski, says this is the third straight year Memorial has seen a sharp increase in graduate enrolment and is on target to reach its goal of 3,200 graduate students by 2010. "To accommodate the increased numbers, the university has significantly increased its graduate fellowship budget and has increased its research capacity by appointing a number of very highly-qualified new faculty members."

Ms. Devine concludes that despite the fact Newfoundland and Labrador high school student enrolment is, and has been, on a steady decline at rate of about three per cent for the past five years, and even though Memorial has successfully increased the percentage of in-province students choosing to come to the university, the reality is that Memorial must continue to attract increasing numbers of mature, out-of-province, international students to maintain the current university enrolment. This fall, Memorial's new out-of-province undergraduate student enrolment is up a significant 20 per cent, and new international undergraduate students have increased by 21 per cent over last year.

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, News Service, Memorial University, 709-737-8665or 709-687-9433 or Alex Marland, director of Communications, Department of Education at 709-729-0048.


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