In alignment with the Provincial Strategic Mandate Agreement, the University of Windsor has set a course to enhance both new student enrolment and its retention of current students (undergraduate and graduate). Over a five-year period (Fall 2017 – Fall 2021), the conservative potential suggests total enrolment growth of 685 students (+686 FT and -1 PT), and the aspirational potential represents nearly double that growth rate (1,251 students, +1179 FT and +72 PT). With that said, enrolment growth will not be immediate at the undergraduate level, and thus, overall enrolment will decline before increasing. Before enrolment grows, the University of Windsor must recover from recent deficits in 1st year undergraduates (FT 2,774/PT 264 in 2016 vs. FT 3,191/PT 380 in 2014), 2nd year undergraduates (FT 2,632/PT 281 in 2016 vs. FT 2,976/PT 359 in 2014), and 3rd year undergraduates (FT 2,779/PT 481 in 2016 vs. FT 2,851/PT 519 in 2014). This will take time and can only be accomplished with significant increases in new undergraduates and improved retention throughout the duration of this SEM Plan and beyond.
Consequently, for the first few years of this SEM Plan, overall enrolment is expected to decline further, but this decrease will likely be minimized by the continued growth of graduate students (primarily masters students) and an increased number of new undergraduates. Rapid growth is expected to begin in Fall 2019 for aspirational potential and Fall 2020 for conservative potential—principally due to the successful implementation of SEM Plan strategies. Both levels are directly correlated to and dependent upon rebuilding base enrolments in years 1-3 undergraduate cohorts as a result of an increase in new students and to a lesser degree, retention gains over multiple years.
With these enrolment challenges in mind, the need for a strategic approach to enrolment management has been identified as an institutional imperative to position the University for enrolment success and financial vitality into the future. Strategic enrolment management is largely about changing the campus culture to adopt a heightened marketing, recruitment, retention, service orientation, and academic program relevance—at both the tactical and strategic levels. Presented herein are the strategies, which will shape our enrolment management efforts over the three-year period from Spring 2017 through the end of the 2019 calendar year.
For more information on the background to the development of this SEM Plan click here.