UBC Okanagan sees first enrolment decline in a decade

Upward momentum with UBC OKanagan enrolment came to an end this year according to recent figures.

Student enrolment at UBC Okanagan has been on continual upswing, breaking records for nine straight years.

That upward momentum, however, has come to an end, according to figures recorded late last year, raising a couple of eyebrows at the university’s registrar’s office.

For the first time in a decade, the university experienced a decrease in enrolment—albeit very slight. For  2013/2014  there were 8,388 students registered and this school year there were 8,212.

UBC Okanagan Deputy registrar Fred Vogt, said that it’s not a cause for concern at this point, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

“It’s a small decrease,” said Vogt, noting it was bound to happen “sooner or later.”

“We didn’t want to see a decrease…we would actually like enrolment to be a little bit larger. So it’s something we need to be paying attention to.”

Reasons for the decline, said Vogt, could be simply a matter of supply and demand.

“One thing we do know is that the  number of graduating high school students is starting to decline, which means a smaller number of recruits this year,” he said.

It also means that universities are going to have to be a lot more competitive if they want to keep their coffers full.

To that end, the university recruitment team has been drumming up ideas on how to make the best of a downward trend.

“We’re trying to identify where we we will be most successful in finding students,” he said.

Early estimates on the year ahead have indicated they may have found the right tack, as Vogt said there is some upward momentum in interest.

Enrolment opens mid June and carries on until September.