Continued growth in graduate student enrolment at Memorial

Nov 11th, 2015

Jennifer Batten

Continued growth in graduate student enrolment at Memorial

This fall, according to the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) 2015-16 Preliminary Survey of Enrolments released in October, Memorial is home to the largest number of graduate students among universities in Atlantic Canada.

Based on the AAU data, graduate enrolment at Memorial grew by more than 19 per cent from fall 2011 to fall 2015, while graduate enrolment across all Atlantic Canadian universities grew by seven per cent over the same timeframe.

The number of graduate diploma, master’s and doctoral students at Memorial increased by 2.6 per cent from fall 2014 to fall 2015.The number of graduate applicants to Memorial increased by eight per cent over 2014, and almost 30 per cent over the past five years. Enrolment growth in research-intensive programs at Memorial is particularly notable. The number of thesis-based master’s students grew by more than five per cent and doctoral students by almost eight per cent over the past year. These figures are based on data collected at Memorial in September 2015.

“The growing demand for our master’s and doctoral programs reflects Memorial’s increasingly prominent position as a world-class teaching and research institution,” said Dr. Faye Murrin, dean pro tempore, School of Graduate Studies. 

International graduate students account for a significant part of the overall increase in graduate student enrolment. International graduate enrolment grew by almost 14 per cent from fall 2014 to fall 2015 and by more than 81 per cent from fall 2011 to fall 2015.

“Attracting global talent, including exceptional international graduate students, is a key component of Memorial’s Strategic Internationalization Plan 2020,” said Sonja Knutson, director, Internationalization Office. “Through the implementation of the plan we will further enhance the university experience for students here and abroad and position Memorial’s students, faculty, researchers, staff and broader community for global success.”

Also contributing to the increase is Grenfell Campus’s rapidly expanding graduate cohort. Enrolment in the master of arts in environmental policy, established in 2012, grew by 25 per cent from fall 2014 to fall 2015.

“Grenfell is attractive to graduate students,” said Dr. David Peddle, associate vice-president (Grenfell Campus) academic. “Our students benefit from the sense of community in our small and beautiful campus and the close interactions with their supervisors. At the same time they take advantage of the whole Memorial system and the resources that come with belonging to one of the largest universities in Atlantic Canada. It’s a win-win situation for our students.”

Memorial recently approved Grenfell’s second graduate program, the master of science in boreal ecosystems and agricultural sciences, which accepted its first group of students this fall semester.

While many academic units at Memorial experienced modest growth, there was a significant increase in the number of graduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The Faculty of Arts saw graduate enrolment increase by almost eight per cent over the past year. The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science graduate enrolment grew by more than 11 per cent over the same period and about 70 per cent over the past three years. With 624 graduate students (including more than 200 doctoral students), the faculty’s graduate enrolment is two years ahead of its ambitious Vision 2020 growth plan.

To learn more about graduate degree options at Memorial, please visit here.



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