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Algoma University Experiences Record-Breaking Enrolment

Board of Governors apprised of AU’s significant economic impact on the Algoma region

(BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS: March 31, 2022): The Algoma University Board of Governors convened virtually this evening for their second regular meeting of 2022. Updates on the University’s record enrolment, growing economic impact, and progress on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts were just a few highlights shared with those present as the University continues to shape its 2022-2023 operating budget for consideration by the Board in late April. 

During her March 2022 President’s Report to the Board, President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina shared an update on final enrolment for the past academic year, noting an impressive 71.8% increase from the previous academic year. “Algoma University offers an integrated suite of programming that is inextricably linked to the communities we serve and the interest from students is exemplified by the overwhelming increase in enrolment we have experienced,” shared Vezina. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, Algoma achieved a record overall enrolment of 3,180 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students. Vezina added, “the tremendous growth at our campus in Brampton, where we experienced a 142% increase in student enrolment (total of 1,313 FTE) was a key driver of Algoma’s overall growth.”

The Board was also apprised of key findings contained within an updated Economic Impact Analysis, completed by EMSI Burning Glass*, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labour market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in Canada, the U.S., and internationally.  The report highlights the University’s growing impact on Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding region. Report findings indicate that AU is responsible for $99 million in total added income to the Algoma region, an 18.8% increase from findings outlined in a similar report issued in 2019 ($80.2 million). This equates to 3.4% of the region’s GDP while supporting a total of 1,204 jobs; meaning that one out of every 28 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie is supported by the activities of AU and its students. 

Finally, an update on commitments to support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), a key strategic priority for the University, was also provided to the Board. To deliver on these commitments, AU commissioned Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) in late June 2021 to conduct a comprehensive EDI Climate Study that includes an environmental scan, employment systems review and a comparative review to provide an evidence-based approach to this important work. Findings are currently being analyzed to help shape recommendations for strategic actions to support ongoing EDI-related efforts.  These efforts will help ensure EDI values are embedded across the organization to fulfil Algoma University’s commitment to undoing systemic and institutional discrimination and to be publicly transparent and accountable.

“The updates shared this evening reinforce the tremendous progress made by Algoma University in addressing our strategic objectives over the past year while highlighting the expanding economic and social impact the institution has on the communities we serve,” stated Board Chair Shelley Schell. “This information will help shape our 2022-2023 operating budget scheduled for finalization next month while providing a solid foundation for preliminary work that will commence this spring to establish our next strategic plan.”

The next meeting of the Algoma University Board of Governors is scheduled for April 28, 2022.

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