Maritime university enrollments down


Newly released university enrollment data from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) show that the numbers of students originally from the Maritime provinces attending Maritime universities declined by 7.8% between 2003-04 and 2007-08 (from 54,620 to 50,367).

Earlier this year, the MPHEC reported that the numbers of Maritimers enrolling at Memorial University of Newfoundland increased by 15% between 2007-08 and 2006-07. In fact, in 2007-08 there are were over ten times as many Maritimers at Memorial compared to 7 years earlier.

I expect the population’s changing age structure is at work here to some extent, but I continue to wonder about the role of rising tuition fees, if any, in these trends. For example, tuition fees at Memorial are $2,633 per year on average while students in Nova Scotia pay $5,868 per year on average.

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Maritime university enrollments down

  1. Hey Dale, I understand that Memorial really dropped their tuition rates a few years back. Has there been any concern that the strategy might devalue the student experience at Memorial, or reduce available resources? Also is Memorial expecting to feel any of the demographic crunch that MPHEC is predicting? I know UNB and SMU are sweating bricks (east coast expression?).

  2. Nova Scotia tuition fees have been dropping lately, though.

  3. Chad, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has provided annual funding to offset any lost tuition revenue resulting from the tuition freeze. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “devalue the student experience”, but I haven’t heard any complaints from students about the freeze which, incidentally, turns 10 next year.

  4. When I said devalue, I meant the value perception. When people are faced with a purchase decision, they will often use cost as a way to measure value. In other words, if university A can charge more than university B, university A must be better.

    I understand the investment that Newfoundland and Labrador has made, and I know Memorial is a fine university, I’m just wondering if there has been any feedback or concern that lower tuition might equal lower quality in the eyes of people outside of “the Rock”.

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