Leading the recruitment battle
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Western has not only received almost 2,000 more applications for first-year undergraduate programs but has also taken the lead in the province proving not everybody reads Maclean's magazine.
The Ontario Universities Application Centre released their pool of applicants to Canadian post-secondary institutions on Tuesday and Western is taking the lead with an almost 13 per cent increase in applications for first-year full-time undergraduate studies. The percentage of students who chose Western as their first choice also climbed to over 13 per cent.
This increase has been attributed to a number of causes including active recruiting, restructuring to programs and faculties, the promise of a room in residence, a more academic experience and the new centre for first-year students, said VP-academic Greg Moran.
"We're getting the message out in an active way," Moran said. "Western continues to be the best school in the province for undergraduate studies with good programs and faculties."
Although there has been an increase in the number of applicants, Moran said the administration would like to keep first-year enrollment between 4,000 and 4,200 for next year.
Queen's University also noted an increase of over nine per cent which has only been credited to the reputation of the school. "We have a high quality of education at Queen's," said VP-academic David Turpin.
Although Queen's has yet to set their enrollment numbers, Turpin said they may look into admitting a larger pool of applicants this September, but will still stay within a central-approved range as set by the administration.
Even with these positive percentages, Council of Ontario Universities spokesperson David Scott said it is still early and the final numbers will not be in until April although huge changes are not expected.
These preliminary numbers are really to be used as a planning document by universities a tool to be used by admission officers and recruiters to check where the numbers are, Scott said.
Differences in applications generally occur within program choices. "When L.A. Law was really popular, everyone wanted to be a lawyer," Scott said.
As to what makes these universities with increasing applicant numbers tick, Scott said rankings in magazines like Maclean's have a bearing on students' decisions as do aggressive marketing and competitive recruitment practices.