Enrolment at University of Saskatchewan up, on pace for highest ever

University of Saskatchewan. File Photo/ Global News

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, student enrolment at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is on track to be the highest on record.

As of the first day of classes on Sept. 3, the tally of students taking part in post-secondary studies is up two per cent compared to the same in 2019.

This marks the sixth consecutive year of planned growth over the time frame of the spring, summer and fall semesters.

“We’ve been watching the trends over that time,” said assistant vice-provost of strategic enrolment management Alison Pickrell. “We are pleased to see that our enrolment is where we planned for where it would be.”

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Pickrell says this proves that students continue to see the value of getting a university degree despite the ongoing pandemic.

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At the conclusion of the academic school year in April 2021, enrolment is expected to top 26,000 — the highest ever in the institution’s history.

Undergraduate enrolment jumped 2.4 per cent with growth for both domestic and international students.

Graduate commitment saw a 2.5 per cent increase in Canadian students, compared to a five per cent drop for international students.

“While thrilled to see our international undergraduate student numbers are up, we will continue to work on drawing international graduate students back to USask,” Pickrell said in a statement.

Indigenous enrolment was up 1.1 per cent as of the first day of classes (all at the undergraduate level).

Pickrell says the faculty and staff have been working hard to provide “engaging and meaningful learning experiences for students” during the pandemic. The majority of classes are being taught in an online format.

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