July 14, 2024

Key takeaways from this year’s university census

The university’s Office of Institutional Research released its 2024 census report late last month.

This year’s census report sees a general downward trend for enrollment at the university, both for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Undergraduate enrollment has decreased 10.1% from last year, with 1629 undergraduate students attending this year, a sharp drop from 1812 undergraduate students enrolled in 2023.

Undergraduate enrollment headcount at the university since 2020. Graphic by Marvin Wurr.

As reported previously, university leadership says to operate efficiently there should be 2200 to 2400 undergraduates, yet, according to the census report, the university has not reached this goal since 2020, when 2347 undergraduate students were enrolled.

Postgraduate enrollment sees a similar level of decline, with the census reporting a 9.6% decrease from last year. Most notably, however, this decrease is largely driven by a significant drop in female enrollment in postgraduate programs.

Postgraduate enrollment headcount at the university since 2020. Graphic by Marvin Wurr

According to the census report, female postgraduate enrollment saw a staggering drop of 17.8%, with 100 female students enrolled as opposed to 123 last year.

Male postgraduate enrollment saw an increase this year of 7.8%, with 69 students enrolled, as opposed to 64 from last year.

The one exception to decreasing enrollment counts is the university’s law school, seeing an increase of 0.2% from last year. However, this is merely an uptick of 444 students attending this year, as opposed to 443 in 2023.

Law school enrollment for students seeking degrees other than a JD has seen a significant decline across the board. The census reports a 100% decrease in enrollment for students seeking an LL.M (Master of Laws degree), with 0 students enrolled in that program this year; similarly, the number of students studying to become paralegals has also decreased 100% this year.

Despite these general downward trends, the census notes that First-Time-In-College (FTIC) Fall-to-Spring retention rates have increased, with 92.5% of first-time students returning for this year’s spring semester.

This year’s census report largely illustrates a continuing decrease in enrollment rates at the university over the past four years. Unless measures are taken to combat this trend, the enrollment headcount will likely continue to decrease.

Author

  • Marvin Wurr

    Marvin is a third-year English literature major. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends at bars and watching straight-to-DVD action flicks.

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