Official enrolment numbers reported to the Atlantic Association of Universities for the 2012-13 academic year show very positive results for Cape Breton University (CBU). According to President and Vice-Chancellor, John Harker, there are several encouraging and consistent indicators that speak to both growth and stability. “We continue to recruit in a highly competitive environment and see that our programs, faculty, campus infrastructure and student services are attracting students to CBU. CBU is strong academically and with both new and improved research, recreational, residence and dining options on campus, these results demonstrate that this is a vibrant campus with much to offer students locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Overall there is a 4.6 per cent increase in full-time enrolment numbers over last year. The largest program increases are seen in the Engineering Diploma, the Bachelor of Technology (Emergency Management) and the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The Bachelor of Arts Community Studies, Bachelor of Arts, Nursing, Public Health and Bachelor of Engineering Technology have also seen increased student enrolment this year. International enrolment shows a 17.6 per cent increase which includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Visa students tend to seek business programs such as the BBA and the Bachelor of Hospitality & Tourism Management degree as well as Science, Technology and Engineering programs.
At present, CBU is home to almost 1,000 international students from 25 countries. CBU success in the international market is due to on-going recruitment efforts worldwide and the presence of the International Centre for English Academic Preparation (ICEAP) in our local community. The ICEAP students build a connection with CBU during their language studies and transfer to CBU university programs. The increase of Saudi Arabian students is linked to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Scholarship program.
Canada’s only MBA in Community Economic Development also continues to attract students from across Canada with enrolment now exceeding 200 students.
Increased enrolment provides enhanced financial stability in a year when further reductions in government support is a certainty. The presence of additional students also calls for on-going assessment of student service needs and adjustments to classroom and facilities use with possible further investment in meeting student needs. “Our intent always is to provide high quality teaching and learning so that students receive the best possible experience while studying with us,” states Harker. “Demographic and fiscal challenges are a given for the post-secondary sector in the Atlantic region and while we cannot or will not ignore them, it is incumbent upon us to seek creative and innovative solutions specific to these challenges and keep students at the forefront of our decisions.”