Lethbridge post-secondary schools say enrollment is ‘steady’

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Lethbridge post-secondary schools say enrolment is ‘steady’
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic altering learning at post secondaries, Lethbridge’s two institutions are reporting steady enrolment rates this fall. As Erik Bay tells us, the schools say for the most part, students are adapting to the changing health regulations. – Oct 21, 2021

There have been plenty of changes for post-secondary institutions for nearly two years now, but one thing that has remained constant is students looking to learn.

Lethbridge College says while enrolment rates aren’t quite as high as pre-COVID-19 pandemic, they are where the school expects levels to be.

“From 2019, we’d be down a little bit,” college president Dr. Paula Burns said. “A little bit in the domestic (students,) then a little more in the international.”

Read more: Lethbridge post-secondary students return to campus for fall semester

The University of Lethbridge has also seen a small decline in its fall semester enrolment compared to last year, with 8,779 students registered at its September drop date, but that’s still higher than in 2018, when 8,767 students were enrolled.

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Meanwhile, both schools have implemented vaccine requirements to attend in-person classes.

According to the university, 90.4 per cent of people participating in the uLethbridge Safe App/Rapid Testing & Vaccination Program are attesting to being fully vaccinated, which includes students, faculty and staff.

Read more: Open letter calls for flexibility in University of Lethbridge course delivery

Lethbridge College doesn’t keep exact numbers of of vaccinated students, but Burns said many are choosing to get the jab.

“We’ve had really good uptake from the community,” Burns said.

“We’ve had a very small number of people that have not participated yet, but are in the works of doing that.”

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One area that is recovering well is international students.

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The U of L international student base has jumped nearly ten per cent over last year, with 600 students studying at the school, and the college expects an increase in its out-of-country students in the coming months.

“We’re actually seeing more international students getting into country, so we do know we have students waiting to start with us in January,” Burns said.

Overall, the college’s enrolment is down 2.7 per cent compared to last year, which is fewer than 100 students, due to the effects of the pandemic and a smaller second year class, according to the school’s registrar’s office.

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