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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 13 | September 6, 2001

Record numbers flock to campus

Administration acts to meet housing, course needs

by Michelle Cook staff writer

UBC's largest-ever class of new students arrived on campus this week and university officials have acted quickly to ensure their housing and course registration needs are met.

As of late August, the university was expecting 5,161 new first-year undergraduates, 20 per cent more than the 4,323 target for the 2001-2002 academic year.

The spike in registration resulted from several factors, among them an increase in both the number of applications and in the acceptance rate of early offers of admission.

UBC's reputation for quality research, the introduction of new academic programs, and guaranteed on-campus housing also helped to attract a larger number of new students this year according to university officials.

"UBC is an attractive place where students want to come," says Neil Guppy, associate vice-president, Academic Programs. "Now, we're doing what we can to guarantee them reasonable housing and getting as much course capacity as we can in place."

With the majority of incoming students entering the faculties of Arts and Science, Guppy says funding has been made available to provide more courses in Math, English and other core subjects.

Preparations have included hiring additional teaching assistants in order to accommodate more students in tutorials and laboratories, and hiring new instructors to teach additional course sections. Extra sections are also being added to courses starting in the second term.

Even with these arrangements, some Science students may still find themselves on course waiting lists when classes begin, says Paul Harrison, associate dean, Student Services, in the Faculty of Science. The faculty has hired additional instructors and teaching assistants and will be using all available classroom and lab space.

"When it comes down to limited space, our priority is to ensure students get the courses they need in conditions that are safe," Harrison says, adding that staff are continually monitoring course registration and moving wait-listed students into spaces that become available.

Thanks to new faculty guidelines that were brought into effect this year, Science students now have two years to complete lower-level required courses. Harrison says the more flexible program requirements may help to ease the demands on course registration.

The increased number of new students has also affected on-campus housing but the university has honoured its long-standing policy of accommodating any scholarship winners and first-year students from outside the Lower Mainland who have applied to live on-campus.

To house the students eligible for residence rooms, UBC Housing and Conferences has made arrangements for up to 100 temporary housing spaces at Totem Park by converting lounges into dorm-style rooms. The rooms, housing three to four students each, are equipped with phone and Internet hookups and are being provided at a 25 per cent discount.

"We hope to move students into regular dorm rooms as space becomes available, and re-convert the lounges to their original purpose as soon as possible," says Robert Frampton, assistant director, Residence Administration.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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