Enrolments at the College’s four campuses this fall have increased about 13.3 per cent over the same time last year, suggesting that the institution will likely exceed 2018-19 government enrolment targets.
Should the numbers ring true, it would be the 14th year that Okanagan College has done so — the best record among B.C.’s Colleges. Last year, OC achieved 113 per cent of those targets, based on full-time equivalent enrolments.
Fall enrolment numbers are a snapshot of the College’s activity. Because the College has programs that start at various times of the year, the student numbers won’t be finalized until the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2019.
When the enrolment period for this fall semester ended in mid-September, Okanagan College had 9,570 students registered, compared to 8,446 students a year ago.
“The numbers are encouraging,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, “but what’s really significant is that they tell us and the community that we are helping more students pursue higher education.
“The latest B.C. labour market projections show that by 2028, there will be 903,000 job openings that need to be filled in B.C. Eighty per cent of those jobs will require some form of higher education. That’s where we come in.”
Kelowna’s campus enrolment grew to 6,126 this fall compared to 5,330 last year, while Vernon’s student headcount climbed to 1,088 from 970. Penticton enrolment grew to 1,025 from 940 and Salmon Arm’s student numbers increased to 721 from 692. Students registered in distance education courses grew to 610 from 514.
Those numbers include students in all levels of programming — from new first-year students to students enrolled in the fourth year of their degree programs.
While international student numbers have grown at the College (1,393 this fall, compared to 876 last fall), so too have domestic student enrolments: there are 590 more students from Canada this fall than in the fall of 2017.