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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Monday, March 17, 1997

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Working to attract students

President James Downey announced Friday that UW has hired a consultant to advise on the university's "recruitment materials and strategies", at a time when competition for students is getting tough. (Also last week, Tina Roberts of the faculty of applied health sciences was named to be "director of undergraduate recruitment and publications" in the registrar's office.)

Says a memo from Downey:

Government operating grants have declined significantly, and student tuition has become a much more important component of university income. Universities are facing greater competition for students at every level, in the high schools, in foreign markets, and in continuing education. This increase in competition is leading many universities and colleges to strengthen and intensify their student recruitment efforts.

The University of Waterloo is feeling these shifts in the post-secondary system and is meeting very stiff competition in its recruiting activities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Many other universities and colleges have already adjusted their recruiting practices and are producing high-quality materials, both print and electronic, to woo prospective students.

In the past, Waterloo has tended to rely on its excellent reputation and unique programs (e.g. co-op) to attract the best students. This is no longer sufficient: the University of Waterloo must become more proactive in promoting itself to prospective students. To help us to do so, I have initiated a process to review and improve our recruitment materials and strategies.

I have asked a small task group composed of Linda Norton, Director of Graphic Services, Registrar Ken Lavigne and Martin Van Nierop, Director of Information & Public Affairs to coordinate this initiative. They will be working with Douglas Geddie, a Canadian university image and marketing specialist of the firm Lindley & Geddie, St. Catharines, Ont., who has been engaged to help with the initial stages of the process. . . .

The aim of this overall initiative is to develop a clearer and more marketable Waterloo image, graphical guidelines and standards, and several key outreach publications. . . . The best elements developed for the printed pieces will also be offered for application on our Web pages.

Several of these new marketing pieces must be ready for the next round of high school (OAC) student recruitment in the fall, specifically the important Metro Toronto recruitment fair for over 30,000 secondary school seniors in September. They will also be extensively used by our high school liaison staff in their travels, by our Visitors Centre and in several foreign locations where UW is actively involved in Canadian Education Centres.

Over the next few weeks, Mr. Geddie will gather information about Waterloo by consulting with our recruitment strategy committee and selected individuals in the faculties, departments and colleges.

Downey noted that Geddie "already knows Waterloo and its culture" from work his firm did on Campaign Waterloo five years ago.

Figures announced in February show a drop of 6.3 per cent in the number of high school students applying to enter UW next fall. The number of applicants who listed UW as first choice dropped by 8.1 per cent. Declines can be seen in most areas, with just a few exceptions: computer science, geological engineering, environmental science, science-and-business, kinesiology, biology.

Registrar Ken Lavigne says that while the drop is a concern, it takes UW's application figures just back to where they were in 1995. "We had a modest increase last year," he pointed out. And Waterloo isn't out of line with most other Ontario universities. Across the province, a total of 53,790 high school students have applied for university admission, which is down by 2.5 per cent.

Here's what students will pay

The one-term tuition fee for (Canadian) undergraduate students will be $1,614, $1,628, $1,753 or $1,767, starting May 1, if the board of governors approves what it's going to be asked to approve. For most (Canadian) graduate students, the fee will be $1,320 per term.

A schedule of proposed tuition fees has been issued as an agenda item for tomorrow's meeting of the board of governors executive committee. The board itself will be meeting on April 1.

The fees reflect an across-the-board 10 per cent increase. UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch said last week that Waterloo is staying away from the introduction of fee "differentials" by which increases would be bigger in some programs than in others.

International students won't face a fee increase this year, as Waterloo already has some of the highest "visa fees" among all Ontario universities. The per-term fee for visa undergraduates will be $5,534 in most regular programs and $5,548 in most co-op programs; it's $9,022 (regular) and $9,036 (co-op) in architecture, engineering and optometry. The fee for foreign grad students will be $4,000 a term.

Back to the Canadian undergraduates -- here's who pays what:

Part-time students will pay $363 per "unit course" at the undergraduate level, $660 per term at the graduate level.

And then there's the Student Services fee, and there are fees (some compulsory, some refundable, some voluntary) for athletics and health and insurance and services and organizations, and there are voluntary contributions to endowment funds in some faculties -- these "incidental fees" add up to anywhere between $221 and $363 a term, depending on faculty, for undergraduates. Most grad students will pay $155 or $160 per term in incidental fees.

In the last week of winter

UW's senate meets at 7:30 tonight in Needles Hall room 3001. On the agenda will be a discussion of tuition fee policy; various changes to course requirements; and a report presenting the winners of the 1997 Distinguished Teacher Awards. . . .

Because it's St. Patrick's Day, the Bombshelter will have an Irish-flavoured "bash" tonight -- and is even distributing, if the advertising is to be believed, green condoms. . . .

The university's joint health and safety committee will meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Needles Hall room 3001. On the agenda: the monthly fire and accident reports, and the continuing puzzle of what smells so bad in the Bauer Warehouse on the north campus. . . .

A multi-cultural festival is announced for Wednesday in the Student Life Centre. . . .

There is still space available in a financial planning seminar sponsored by the staff training and development program and being held all day Wednesday. Anybody who might be interested in attending should call Tricia Loveday in the human resources department (ext. 2078) today.


March 16, 1995: Member of Parliament Svend Robinson, recently charged in the "assisted suicide" of Sue Rodriguez, speaks in the Arts Lecture Hall on "Living and Dying with Dignity".

March 17, 1972: The UW senate resumes a meeting that began yesterday, and spends another two hours discussing the report of the Commission on Post-Secondary Education in Ontario, headed by former UW dean Doug Wright. March 17, 1982: "Technology Futures Day" launches the Institute for Computer Research and the Watfund money-raising campaign.

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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