Admissions up 17 per cent from 2009
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
This fall semester, for the third year in a row, Douglas College has reached an all-time high in admissions with over 11,000 students registered for courses. The increase in enrollment is a continuation of the upward trend since 2009.
“The growing popularity of Douglas doesn’t come as a surprise,” says Scott McAlpine, president of Douglas College. “More and more people are choosing Douglas based on the strength of our academic and career-based programs, and the quality of our teaching.”
Douglas has been expanding its course and program roster to accommodate the flux of students with new programs beginning this fall. Among them are two new post-degree programs in sales and accounting. Douglas also partnered with Langara, Capilano, and Vancouver Community College in May to offer a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree.
Some programs, like the ever-popular nursing program, can’t keep up with the demand of applicants flooding the admissions offices.
“We have some areas [of study] that are very oversubscribed,“ said Dave Taylor, Director of Marketing and Communications at Douglas. “Nursing, for example, received over 1,000 applications this year but only 65 seats open every year.”
The rise in admissions is not exclusive to Douglas College either, with urban post-secondary institutions seeing increased registrations across the board—a pattern stemming from the uncertainty in job markets.
“Whenever the economy is slow, people look at spending their time, instead of looking for a job that might be hard to come by, getting an education to prepare themselves better for when things pick up,” said Taylor. “At times like this you see people coming back to college and university for extra training as well because there are fewer opportunities for advancement.”
Not all of the gains in enrollment can be accredited to the economic climate, however.
“There are long-term statistics that seem to show that people are seeing the advantages of becoming more educated to further their career options,” claimed Taylor.
Part of the increase in enrollment can also be accredited to the ever-expanding population of international students at Douglas. This year saw a 10 per cent increase in international student registration—totalling Douglas’ international student population to over 1,100.
“Our international focus is on both receiving and sending,” explained Taylor. “We want our students to have an international experience and become global citizens. It’s a very important part of life in the 21st century, frankly. We’re always looking to expand our international opportunities for domestic students, as well as looking at new countries that might want to send international students to Douglas.”