A big jump in the enrolment of agriculture students at the University of Manitoba is being credited to a solid recruitment effort and a strong ag sector.
And the institution isn’t alone. Other ag programs at western Canadian universities and institutions are also reporting steady growth in their student bodies.
“The agricultural industry and the Prairies in general has been very strong. That’s been going on for quite a while, but especially lately,” said Brian Amiro, associate dean for academics t the U of M’s faculty of agricultural and food sciences.
“Students are realizing that getting an education in agricultural and food science is a great opportunity for a career.”
This fall, the U of M faculty recorded a 24 percent bump over last year in students enrolled in its degree program. Enrolment in the university’s diploma in agriculture program is also up.
At the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources, enrolment has increased 10 percent, while the total enrolment across the campus has remained flat.
In Alberta, officials report enrolment is up at the University of Alberta, while ag programs at Olds College are full, with students sitting on waiting lists.
“My guess is this is one of our best years ever, if not the best, for first year enrolment,” said Jen Donofrio, director of strategic enrolment management at Olds.
At the U of M, it’s the second consecutive year that enrolment numbers have jumped significantly, said Amiro.
“Our jump this year again was a little larger than we might have thought otherwise, but that’s just from a diversity of sources those students are coming from,” he said.
The U of A has observed significant growth following the introduction of a new animal health program, said Natural Kav, associate dean with the agricultural food and nutritional science department.