University enrolment in Canada has reached a record high, with 32,000 more full-time students enroled in 2010 than the year prior, according to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. This represents an increase of 3.7 per cent, and over the next five years, enrolment numbers are expected to increase even more.
The article from the Canadian Press mentions that applications to Ontario universities have increased dramatically over the past decade. The province’s 20 universities had received 383,403 applications by the Jan. 12 deadline, according to the Council of Ontario Universities, which is 49 per cent more than in 2000.
Bonnie Patterson, the council’s president and CEO, said that the increasing enrolment is proof that students understand the requirements of a knowledge-based economy, yet there are also some concerns. “It’s one thing to fund those students at the same level of current funding, and that’s basically what the government’s been doing, but as we expand our numbers, you have to be very careful that you don’t. . . alter significantly the quality of the student experience,” she said.
In other words, as enrolment increases (the past 15 years have seen a 57 per cent jump in the number of full-time students in Canadian universities), government funding and resources have to be divided up among more and more students.