Graduate enrolment continues to break records

Nov 4th, 2013

Mandy Cook

Graduate enrolment continues to break records

When it comes to tracking record highs, Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS) isn’t talking about the weather.

For the past five years, total enrolment at the graduate level has continued to climb. The number of students 

Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean, School of Graduate Studies

enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs at Memorial went up by 5.3 per cent to 3,565 in fall 2013 from 3,386 in fall 2012. Graduate enrolment has increased by 14.3 per cent over past two years.

“Enrolment in our doctoral programs increased by almost 15 per cent this past year,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean, School of Graduate Studies. “This kind of growth is essential to Memorial and its goal of becoming a world-class research-intensive university.”

Pan-university collaboration with academic and service units – including Student Affairs and Services, the Office of the Registrar, Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support, the Division of Marking and Communications, the Office of Student Recruitment and the Writing Centre – has been critical to not only recruiting top-notch graduate students, but also ensuring their success as students and alumni.

The results of the newly completed 2013 Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey, a Canadian Association for Graduate Studies-administered survey in which 48 Canadian universities participated, suggest Memorial University surpasses the national averages in the areas of academic, research and student life experience.

“For growth to be sustainable, Memorial must be able to continuously improve the student experience by staying relevant and responding to student needs quickly,” said Andrew Kim, director, graduate enrolment services. “One way we’re doing this is the Enhanced Development of the Graduate Experience (EDGE), a program launched last month and intended to promote professional skills development among our graduate students and better prepare them for the labour market.”

Memorial’s growing international profile has also been noteworthy. International graduate enrolment increased by 14 per cent over the past year. For its effort in this area, the SGS was awarded the 2013 National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals Promotion of Excellence Award earlier this year.

In addition to its work with Memorial’s International Centre on expanding international partnerships and programs, SGS has also recently created new funding packages aimed at increasing the quality and diversity of graduate students at Memorial.

"International graduate students make wide-ranging contributions to Memorial, bringing diverse perspectives to teaching and research at the institutional level and to student life,” said Sonja Knutson, director, International Centre. “Many are interested in staying in the province post-graduation, further contributing to the economic development of the province. This will be a high priority area for Memorial as it develops an internationalization strategy in the coming months."

Memorial has launched a number of new graduate programs over the past year, including the graduate diploma in safety and risk engineering, master of health ethics and PhD programs in philosophy and nursing.

“Memorial University has an excellent reputation for offering high-quality graduate programs,” said Dr. Golfman. “That combined with affordable tuition, competitive funding packages and the excellent quality of life offered by our province results is an incredible selling proposition for potential graduate students from around the world.”

There are currently more than 100 graduate degree options at Memorial. Information about all programs can be found