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UWindsor first-year class expands by 200

First-year domestic enrolment at the University of Windsor is up by almost 7 percent this fall despite the fact that applications showed no growth over 2010 numbers. Assistant provost Dave Bussière says there are a number of reasons for this positive news—increased and targeted advertising, an aggressive phone campaign by faculty and students, and almost 1,000 campus tours.

Preliminary figures show UWindsor well above the Ontario average growth in enrolment. New students entering directly from Ontario high schools are up more than 5 percent, compared to a provincial mean of 1.9 percent. All other first-year Canadian students are up 7 percent, compared to 4.8 percent province-wide. This translates to about 200 new first-year domestic students.

“We are seeing strong growth in engineering this year,” notes Dr. Bussière. “The impact of the Centre for Engineering and Innovation building is starting to be felt.”

Engineering’s 20 percent growth is double the Ontario average; arts and social sciences are up 10 percent, led by communications, political science and social work programs, with growth more than 40 percent above last year. Inter-Faculty programs have seen an increase in first-year enrolment of about 30 percent over 2010.

These numbers do not surprise liaison officer Katia Benoit. She points to the university’s aggressive advertising campaign and a recruiting office emphasis on “closing the sale”—convincing applicants to make UWindsor their final choice.

“We’re doing well,” she notes. “Our campus tours are really successful. We are getting out the message about the great things that are happening here.”

Bussière is more cautious.

“We need to understand the drivers of this enrolment growth—who accepted our offer of admission, where they came from, where else they had applied.”

Even with this growth, Bussière notes that the University’s enrolment remains below its provincial funding corridor—the target enrolment that sparks new student funding.

“We’re about halfway there. The effort this fall has to be on expanding our applicant base,” he says. “The involvement of our students and faculty members is the key to attracting those students who are the best fit for our programs.”