Lethbridge College is seeing a resurgence in its overall enrolment.
“If I look at fall 2019, I think we’re up 20 students from then,” said registrar Marko Hilgersom.
According to Hilgersom, the college’s current enrolment is up eight per cent compared to last year, adding about 400 students.
That puts student totals around 5,500 — on par with pre-COVID-19 pandemic figures.
“It’s good. It means budget remains in play from what we planned on, because we did plan for a modest increase,” Hilgersom said.
Certain demographics within the student body are fuelling that bump.
Enrolment for apprenticeship programs is 20-per cent higher, while international students continue returning to post-secondary institutions.
Learners from other countries now make up roughly one-fifth of the college’s student base.
“It’s a trend across the province,” Hilgersom said. “International is our big growth market if you think of… the amount of people that live outside of Canada and want to take advantage of our excellent education system as well as opportunities.”
There is one key group that’s staying stagnant, however.
“Domestic numbers are pretty flat still, so it’s not quite the enrolment growth we were hoping,” Hilgersom said.
He adds there’s an effort to attract more southern Albertans to Lethbridge for their education.
“We work a lot stronger with local school districts, because it’s their interest, too. They want their students transitioning into post-secondary,” Hilgersom said.
“Industry’s also involved, because they see the need for continuous support in their labour force.”
Steps Lethbridge College is hoping it will continue its post-pandemic rebound.
The University of Lethbridge is set to release its enrolment numbers Tuesday.