CNC and UNBC Set Stage for New Year
Prince George, B.C.- Both the University of Northern B.C. and the College of New Caledonia are ready to welcome students back to classes.
Although enrolment numbers won’t be official for a few weeks, both institutions are expecting healthy numbers this semester.
At UNBC, President Daniel Weeks says student numbers are “trending right now to be up a little bit. We are looking at about a 6% increase in our student body this year.” He says the expected increase is a reflection of all the hard work that has been done in spreading the word about UNBC’s many successes over the past few years, not the least of which is being named the number one small university in Canada by Macleans magazine.
President Weeks says while the numbers won’t be final until late September, the data at this point indicates things are looking pretty good “If everything holds the way we are right now, we will be up about 150 students over last year. Our graduate students are up as well, so we are tracking right now at about 6% (more).” That translates to about 2850 students on campus and a little over 200 of them are international students. “We are making a significant push to increase our international student numbers, we do have some room to grow there without compromising any of our programs, in fact I think its a good thing for our campus to increase our international student cohort somewhat, so we’ll be working pretty hard on that over the next year or two.”
One of the positives about UNBC has always been the small class size, but President Weeks says the increased numbers won’t change that “In fact, we continue to enjoy a very intimate atmosphere. Students here have direct access to outstanding researchers, outstanding faculty. It ( small class size) is one of the hallmarks of our institution and in no way are we interested in sacrificing that intimate boutique kind of experience that you can get at UNBC.”
Over at the College of New Caledonia, student numbers will bein the 2400 range throughout the College’s various campuses with just over 2100 attending at the campus in Prince George. Many of the trades training programs don’t start right away, so numbers are difficult to pin down at this time. What is interesting is that CNC will be welcoming an cohort of International students from Mexico this year. They will be enrolling in the English as a Second Language program, and taking some University transfer courses.
In all, the number of international students at CNC this year is about 140, similar to what it has been in the past. Most are enrolled in a variety of programs from English as a Second Language, to University transfer programs, and post diploma programs.
What is new at CNC is an effort to ease the financial crunch associated with the text books needed for courses. The Mathematics program is adopting a new free, open access textbook from math 101 and math 104. The ‘text” can be downloaded as a pdf, and pages printed as needed. The College is also looking for pdf versions of other custom text books.
Today and tomorrow at CNC, its Orientation for International students, and tomorrow, those in academic upgrading programs will be invited to an orientation.