Western will enroll slightly fewer students
By Marshall Bellamy
Western will be scaling back the amount of first-entry students
it accepts over the next two years, but will be maintaining
an entering average requirement of above 80 per cent.
According to last Friday’s report of the Senate Committee
on University Planning, Western will be enrolling 4,510 students
next year and in 2005-06, 4,350 frosh will be accepted.
“We had planned a decrease in enrollment because of
a decrease in demand,” said Lori Gribbon, manager of
undergraduate admissions and liaison services at in the Office
of the Registrar, adding last year 4,850 students were admitted
out of approximately 45,000 applicants and this year 4,510
will be enrolled out of 29,156 applicants.
According to Gribbon, first-year enrollment was raised significantly
last year to meet the increased demand of the double cohort,
and now the university is cutting enrollment down to normal
“We expanded for a three year period to accommodate
the double cohort group — it was always our intention
to expand our student body,” stated Roma Harris, Western’s
vice-provost and registrar.
The smaller size of the first-year class will also improve
the quality of education at Western, she added.
Harris pointed out that with the increased enrollment into
first-year, the university has made a commitment to expand
graduate studies to accommodate the larger graduating classes.
“We’re anticipating [the entrance average] won’t
go below 80 per cent,” Gribbon added, citing the average
has risen from 79.5 per cent two years ago to 83 per cent last
September, although she maintained it would be impossible to
precisely predict what this September’s admission average
“We wanted to confine our enrollment in a way that allows
us to maintain our quality as well as we can,” Harris
said regarding the decision to keep entrance averages at an
A. “We are in a very fortunate position where we can
attract students,” she said.
University Students’ Council VP-education Dave Ford
was quick to point out the high entrance average at Western
was not a negative thing and is symptomatic of a larger issue. “I
think we’re staying competitive — you need to realize
the limitations of government funding,” he said.
According to Ford, the issue cannot be looked at from the
institutional level, but rather the provincial level.