Volume 92, Issue 77

Friday, February 12, 1999


Tan blows away competition in presidential victory

Western sees student application onslaught

Police bug for more city dollars

Newfoundland students push free tuition idea

No sore election losers

Candidate results

Putting investing into student terms

Western sees student application onslaught

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The numbers are in and Western seems to be winning the popularity contest for applicants to post secondary institutions.

According to statistics from the Ontario Universities Applications Centre, the total number of students applying to Western increased 31 per cent this year, which betters the average provincial increase of 26.4 per cent.

Roma Harris, registrar at Western, applauded the figures, stressing the role the recruitment department plays in promoting Western to potential applicants. "We've put a tremendous push on trying to recruit students to Western," she said.

Harris said links to high schools such as liaison services and faculty visits help make Western the most popular choice for university in Ontario, after the University of Toronto. "This means we're really capturing more of a market share in Ontario," she said.

Gregory Marcotte, executive director for the OUAC, said a streamlining in the application process allowing students to choose more than three universities was a reason for the surge in overall applications. "Applicants put in over 35,000 choices beyond [the first] three. This is a significant increase," he said.

Previously, applicants wanting to apply to more than three schools were required to mail in a second application form. This year, students only need to fill out one form, listing all their choices.

He said the current rush of applications marks a record year for the OUAC. "This is by far the best showing we've had in 12 years," he said.

Rob Savage, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education and Training, said the Ministry was not surprised to hear the numbers were up. "Our initial reaction is that it's a positive sign Ontario has good post secondary institutions. We've known that all along," he said.

However, Sandra Chevalier-Fell, head of guidance at Regina Mundi Secondary School in London, said the changes have complicated matters. "Something tells me it's more about the money than it is about the students," she said, referring to the fee of $25 for each additional school after their third choice.

"I'm quite upset that it's all on one form. We're doing much more work and for most kids, three choices is enough," she said.

Although the figures indicate more interest in attending Western, Harris said this does not mean the acceptance of more students.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999