Mount Royal population booms
Despite the recession spelling downsize for many Canadian companies, such was not the case for Canadian universities and colleges, which saw substantial increases across the country in applications for the 2009/10 academic year.
Mount Royal University received a large, but as yet undisclosed, number of applications for the fall semester, accounting for an increase of more than 1,200 students. MRU’s 2009/10 student population has swollen greatly according to Mount Royal’s Students’ Association executives.
Erin Delamont, SA VP Academic, says the actual number of applicants for the 2009/2010 year have not yet been released, adding, “Enrolment is up 10 percent this year bringing the total to almost 13,000 students at Mount Royal. No longer can we call Mount Royal a small university. In the grand scheme of universities, we are now a mid sized school.”
Delamont notes the Bissett School has had a particularly high number of applications for the 2009/10 academic year. “Their applications increased significantly this year. However, they can only accept a total 350 of the 1,600 they received,” she says.
Delamont agrees that the now-waning recession is a factor in increased enrolments at MRU, at other schools in Calgary and certainly at schools across the country.
“The recession has quite a bit to do with it. Across Canada enrolment is up and the recession definitely has a lot to do with increasing enrolments across the country,” she said.
Delamont also says Mount Royal’s shift from college to university has had a significant impact on applications in general, but especially for our degree programs with students transferring from applied to bachelor degrees.
Sharon Carey, president of Bow Valley College says BVC has also seen a significant increase in applications noting a 55 percent increase in applications in the 2009/10 school year, an increase she say certainly has roots in the recession and job losses in a variety of sectors. Carry says that despite a layoff being stressful, many people take advantage of what they see as a short term problem to upgrade their skills.
As is usually the case, not all applications to MRU are successful, for a variety of reasons. Dave Wood, MRU’s Registrar, says the college must turn away qualified applicants every year due in part to physical space but also for reasons related to the budget allocation MRU receives from government.
Delamont notes it is often the case that students who apply at MRU have also applied at University of Calgary, SAIT, Bow Valley College or other schools in Alberta and across Canada. “Just because they weren’t successful at MRU doesn’t mean they haven’t’ entered school at all; it just means they’re not attending here.” Students also often cancel their applications due to changing life circumstances.
Delamont says MRU will reveal actual applications and admissions figures later this week.