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Increase in enrolment at Mount Royal University despite move to online classes

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WATCH: Despite the switch to online learning, Calgary's Mount Royal University has seen an increase in enrolment this year. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports – Aug 26, 2020

When it was first announced that university classes were going to be online this fall, no one knew what that would mean for enrolment.

But now Mount Royal University says enrolment has gone up one per cent from 2019 — the same rate of growth the school saw last year.

Read more: Coronavirus: Alberta universities look to mostly online courses for fall semester

“I feel good about enrolment. We had been planning for some contingencies. You might’ve seen a lot of news stories saying that people might take a gap year or find other things to do and we are delighted that our enrolment is strong,” said Tim Rahilly, president and vice-chancellor of MRU.

There will be about 100 classes offered on campus with a maximum of 30 students in each class. MRU expects around 250 students on campus per day for the in-person classes.

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The students’ association says it is planning innovative ways to connect students with each other using technology.

“It’s really important that faculty and students recognize when to ask for help. I think that’s probably going to be the biggest issue,” said Spirit River Striped Wolf, president of the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University.

“The spring and summer semester offered a lot of feedback for faculty and a lot of trial runs to see what worked and what didn’t work. I think we are pretty adapted.”

The first floor of the library will be open for limited services and the bookstore will do curbside pickup. The recreation centre opens in September and labs and courses that have practical hands-on components like aviation will continue.

Read more: University tuitions on the rise despite move to online courses amid COVID-19

Striped Wolf said it’s important that students take advantage of resources that are being offered to help navigate the new online world.

“Despite the circumstance, I don’t see any other way we could have compensated. I think we are given what we are given. We are trying to make lemonade now and I think we have done a good job with that,” Striped Wolf said.

Classes at MRU start on Sept. 3.

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This academic year will see nearly 15,000 students work towards 35 majors in 12 bachelor’s degrees.

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