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Undergraduate enrolment in Canada reaches the million mark

The number of international students also up sharply from last year.

BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | OCT 25 2011

Canadian universities reached a milestone this fall, enrolling for the first time more than 1 million undergraduate students – 777,300 studying full-time and 237,600 studying part-time, for a total of 1,014,900 students, according to data released today by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. That’s a three-percent increase from the 2010-2011 academic year.

Full-time graduate student enrolment was up as well, by 3.2 percent, while part-time graduate student enrolment increased 2.3 percent. There are now 195,400 graduate students enrolled at Canada’s universities.

Nearly every university and every region in the country saw at least some enrolment gains. Saskatchewan had the biggest increase in undergraduate enrolment, followed by Quebec and Ontario. The Council of Ontario Universities announced in late August another milestone for that province: over 90,000 first-year students confirmed their university acceptance letters, which is almost 2,000 more than the previous record established during the double-cohort year of 2003, when students in Grades 12 and 13 graduated at the same time.

“This kind of consistent growth in student numbers reinforces the value of a university degree,” said AUCC president Paul Davidson. “Students, parents and employers understand that a university degree is a sound investment in the future.”

The number of international students is also on the rise, reflecting the increased efforts of Canadian universities to attract students from abroad. Full-time international enrolment, all levels combined, jumped by more than 11 percent over last year. There are now 100,000 international students in Canada, a four-fold increase since 1995.

Photo courtesy of Mount Allison University.

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