The Campus Council meeting convened on Tuesday, November 21 and discussed the University of Toronto Mississauga’s undergraduate and graduate enrolment levels, as well as the recently approved science building.
According to UTM’s interim registrar and director, enrolment management, Loretta Neebar, international students and students who are here on a study permit make up 21 per cent of the campus’ population, and the rate is expected to go up to 26 per cent in the upcoming years. The incoming grade average from Ontario high school students has been rising. Thus, the quality of students admitted has been increasing for the past three years, as well.
“We are attracting top students from the province and they are choosing us,” stated Neebar.
Students from Ontario high schools with an average of 95 per cent or higher will now be getting entrance scholarships that can be renewed each year.
As mentioned by Neebar, the current graduation rates show that only 40 per cent of students complete their degree in the four-year period. She stated that there are various reasons why students may not be able to complete their studies in time, and it is difficult to quantify these reasons as they may be personal. It is also challenging to compare this to other institutions, because they are all run differently.
The government is also looking to increase the number of graduate students.
According to UTM’s principal Ulrich Krull, the province of Ontario is now saying that all undergraduate students should have some “experiential learning experience” before their graduation.
This would not include research opportunity programs, but rather opportunities that are outside the classroom. “We are creating scenarios for the government of what we may be able to do with this,” Krull stated.
One of UTM’s multiple priorities is managing enrolment. “We are interested in increasing graduate enrolment,” he said. At present, there are only 700 graduate students at UTM. Krull also said that last year had the worst faculty-to-student ratio, and that they are looking to hire new faculty in the next two to three years.
Other items on the meeting’s agenda involved updates on a new science building which was approve for recommendation in a Campus Affairs meeting on October 31st.
The building has been a long-term goal for the UTM campus.
Krull discussed how the science building is moving forward, and how other buildings have usually taken priority in the past, such as the Instructional Building and Deerfield Hall. Since faculty members are required to do research, a separate building for research has been a necessary requirement for some time now. New faculty will not be hired until the research space is complete, the hiring process will take place within the six to eight months after the completion of the science building in 2021.
The research of the science building will be structured around Patrick Gunning and his research on therapeutics for cancer.
A document referred to as the “Master Plan” outlines the spaces on campus where new buildings are permitted to be constructed. The science building will be attached to Davis, thus keeping it close to the existing labs for convenience. The building will also contain forensic science offices because there are only a few currently on campus.
The next Campus Council meeting will take place on January 24th in 2018.