University student population continues to grow

As of January 14, 2004, 71,222 secondary school students had applied to admission to Ontario universities. Total full-time university student enrolment is expected to top 326,000 in fall 2004, representing an increase of 5.1 % over last year, or 28.6% over 2001. The year-over-year comparison is featured below.

Three factors have created the growth in enrolment: secondary school reform resulting in university-bound students from the former curriculum and the new curriculum seeking admission at the same time; rising participation rates; and an increase in the 18- to 24-year-old population.

Detailed institutional figures are posted on the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre web site (

Enrolment at Ontario Universities
(Fall Full-Time Headcount)

#s% change#s% change#s% change
2001-02 (actual)1225,31928,225253,544
2002-03 (actual)1243,9368.3%30,7498.9%274,6858.3%
2003-04 (prel. est.)2277,10013.6%33,1007.6%310,20012.9%
2004-05 (forecast)2291,0005.0%35,0005.7%326,0005.1%
Three-Year Cumulative Increase65,68129.2%6,77524.0%72,45628.6%

Source: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities¹ and COU² (Jan. 2004). Note: excludes part-time students.

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For further information:

Jamie Mackay
Vice-President, Policy and Analysis
(416) 979-2165 ext. 209

Richard Van Loon
Chair of Council and President of Carleton University
(613) 520-3801