Full-time U of C students rise

By Kim Stock

The numbers are in.

The University of Calgary Registrar finalized Sept. 13 enrolment statistics Tuesday.

The number of full-time students increased last year from 20,514 to this year’s 20,944, a 2.10 per cent addition.

"We’re always pleased to see more students, but as usual, we’re concerned about the growing size of classes, the pressure put upon teaching staff, and the overall quality of education at the U of C," said Students’ Union Vice-president Academic Heather Clitheroe.

This year’s full-time undergraduate students increased to 18,575 from last year’s 18,156, a 2.31 per cent increase. Increasing by 0.47 per cent, the number of full-time graduate students also went up from 2,358 to 2,369.

"Full-time frosh (3,056) and transfer students (1,936) are up by at least 100 each with a total of 4,992 new undergraduate degree students being admitted as compared with 4,725 last year," said U of C Registrar Gary Krivy. "Luckily, for a large number of programs, frosh applicants presenting a 70 per cent matriculation average and transfer students presenting a 2.00 Grade Point Average were able to be admitted."

Although full-time student numbers went up, overall part-time numbers went down.

"The decrease in part-time students seems to be due to a larger number of applicants seeking full-time study," said Krivy.

Part-time undergraduate students decreased to 2,776 from last year’s 2,927, reduced by 5.16 per cent. In spite of the overall part-time decrease of 3.29 per cent from last year’s 3,859 to this year’s 3,732, part-time graduates increased by 2.6 per cent from 932 to 956.

"Our feeling is that a large number of students have had to switch from part-time study to full-time as they face issues of increasing tuition," said Clitheroe. "Simply put, it’s becoming too expensive to take a degree over a number of years beyond the normal full-time degree."

According to Krivy, programs continued to require high GPAs for admission due to demand exceeding the number of available spaces.

"The university need to immediately address class size, among first year classes in particular," commented Clitheroe. "There needs to be a steady commitment to ensure that the needs of new and transferring students are not overshadowed by the numbers. There is a real difference between the percentage increases and the students who are forced to sit on the floor during lectures."