Preliminary estimates suggest enrolment at Concordia has gone up by over 1,400 students since last year.
But the increase hasn’t yet been met with more funding from the province.
Judith Woodsworth, president of Concordia University, said the school has to “be cautious” in terms of granting acceptances because other universities in Quebec have also been attracting more students.
If enrolment at all universities in Quebec goes up, Concordia might not see any increase in funding, Woodsworth said at a board of governors meeting last week.
Enrolment at Concordia in fall semesters has been steadily increasing since 2006.
Whether this trend results in more government funding depends, in part, on other universities’ enrolment figures.
“If everybody’s goes up, we’ll get the same piece of the pie from the government,” Woodsworth said.
Beyond funding, the university has to consider what to do with more students filling up classrooms.
Leah Del Vecchio, a student representative on the board of governors, raised concerns about the possibility of quality of education being compromised due to the higher enrolment figures.
Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs David Graham acknowledged the university doesn’t currently have the funding to match the extra students. But he assured the university is taking measures to accommodate the new students without negatively affecting the quality of education.
“There are a number of variables we can manipulate,” he said. Eliminating low-enrolling classes, increasing capacity in others and moving some courses to the web were some examples he cited.
The spike in enrolment was accompanied by an increase in applications, according to the president ad vice-chancellor’s report to the university’s board of governors.
University spokesperson Chris Mota said standards for accepting students at Concordia haven’t changed.
An increase in enrolment at post-secondary institutions is not unusual during a recession, she said. “It’s a sign of the economic times,” she added, noting that workers who have been – or fear being – laid off go back to school for re-training.
Number of Enrollments
Fall 2009: 33,328*
Fall 2008: 31,875
Fall 2007: 31,640
Fall 2006: 31,313
Fall 2005: 31,527