Navigating the University’s recent enrolment results

Vari Hall at night
Vari Hall at night

Each year, tens of thousands of high school students across Ontario embark on the process of researching, planning, contacting and visiting university campuses to help determine where they want to pursue their postsecondary education and academic program of choice.

For many, a key part of that decision-making process is attending the Ontario University Fair. Each September, the three-day fair draws more than 120,000 students, parents and educators. The first major date for university-bound students is in November, when the Ontario University Application Centre opens their online system to start accepting applications. The next key milestone is in January, when the system imposes a deadline for applications.

For those students looking to attend university in fall 2015, the system closed on January 14. On Monday of last week, the Ontario University Application Centre posted the province’s latest enrolment statistics including those for York University.

It is important to note that York’s overall enrolment is comprised of two major pools:  those coming directly from an Ontario high school (commonly referred to as “101” applicants); and, those who are not coming directly from an Ontario high school (“105” applicants).  Within both of these broad categories, the University accepts and enrols students whose fee status is domestic, or international.

In order to better understand York’s recent enrolment results and to learn what the University is doing to respond to the situation, YFile spoke to York University Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton.

YFile: What is the Ontario University Application Centre?

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) processes applications for admission to undergraduate, law, medical, rehabilitation sciences and teacher education programs at Ontario’s universities.

YFile: What did they recently report regarding applications to Ontario Universities for fall, 2015? 

As we expected, based on demographic trends, the number of 101 applicants in Ontario is down nominally from 2014.  Specifically, the total number of applications received by OUAC is 1.8 per cent less than last year.

It is the start of a downward trend for the next several years, but one that is expected to reverse again after 2021, when there will be another steady increase in the population of 18 to 20 year-olds, and therefore growing university enrolments. When there is a demographic shift in the market, one university’s gain in a particular year may be another university’s loss. Over time, these fluctuations tend to even out.

To view the full interview with Lenton, visit YU Link.