Record numbers flock to campus
Administration acts to meet housing, course needs
by Michelle Cook staff writer
UBC's largest-ever class of new students arrived on campus
this week and university officials have acted quickly to ensure
their housing and course registration needs are met.
As of late August, the university was expecting 5,161 new first-year
undergraduates, 20 per cent more than the 4,323 target for the 2001-2002
The spike in registration resulted from several factors, among
them an increase in both the number of applications and in the acceptance
rate of early offers of admission.
UBC's reputation for quality research, the introduction of new
academic programs, and guaranteed on-campus housing also helped
to attract a larger number of new students this year according to
"UBC is an attractive place where students want to come," says
Neil Guppy, associate vice-president, Academic Programs. "Now, we're
doing what we can to guarantee them reasonable housing and getting
as much course capacity as we can in place."
With the majority of incoming students entering the faculties
of Arts and Science, Guppy says funding has been made available
to provide more courses in Math, English and other core subjects.
Preparations have included hiring additional teaching assistants
in order to accommodate more students in tutorials and laboratories,
and hiring new instructors to teach additional course sections.
Extra sections are also being added to courses starting in the second
Even with these arrangements, some Science students may still find
themselves on course waiting lists when classes begin, says Paul
Harrison, associate dean, Student Services, in the Faculty of Science.
The faculty has hired additional instructors and teaching assistants
and will be using all available classroom and lab space.
"When it comes down to limited space, our priority is to ensure
students get the courses they need in conditions that are safe,"
Harrison says, adding that staff are continually monitoring course
registration and moving wait-listed students into spaces that become
Thanks to new faculty guidelines that were brought into effect
this year, Science students now have two years to complete lower-level
required courses. Harrison says the more flexible program requirements
may help to ease the demands on course registration.
The increased number of new students has also affected on-campus
housing but the university has honoured its long-standing policy
of accommodating any scholarship winners and first-year students
from outside the Lower Mainland who have applied to live on-campus.
To house the students eligible for residence rooms, UBC Housing
and Conferences has made arrangements for up to 100 temporary housing
spaces at Totem Park by converting lounges into dorm-style rooms.
The rooms, housing three to four students each, are equipped with
phone and Internet hookups and are being provided at a 25 per cent
"We hope to move students into regular dorm rooms as space becomes
available, and re-convert the lounges to their original purpose
as soon as possible," says Robert Frampton, assistant director,