Mount Allison’s Integrated Plan will need to take into account the context in which the University exists.
There are many challenges facing higher education at the moment — but there are also many opportunities.
Here are some of the things we will need to keep in mind as we work together to build the integrated plan.
- According to Universities Canada, university participation more than doubled since 1980.
- However participation rates in the Maritime region have dropped in the last decade and enrolment in Maritime universities has declined steadily.
- Mount Allison's enrolment reached a peak in 2009 of more than 2,500 students. Enrolment is expected to be around 2,200 in 2015-2016.
- Today’s university students come from more diverse backgrounds, which requires the provision of adequate supports. We are seeing:
- students who are the first in their families to attend university
- new Canadians
- First Nations, Métis, or Inuit students
- Students with learning and other physical and mental health challenges
- International students (approximately 10 per cent of Mount A students)
- Students have different needs and aspirations than their predecessors.
- The connections between teaching and research are more important to faculty.
- The role of the library in teaching and learning is changing.
- Atlantic Canada is seeing a decline in the number of people of university-age and an aging population, meaning there are both fewer potential students to enter university and fewer individuals contributing to the tax base that makes public support for universities and university students possible.
- Statistics Canada projections suggest the university-aged population will continue to decline over the next 10 years.
- This could lead to less public money for universities and stiffer competition for qualified students.
- Mount Allison takes an immersive approach to undergraduate education and focuses on educating and developing the whole person.
- Much public discussion of late has focused on whether universities are equipping students with the skills they need to enter the workforce.
- Mount A aims to keep class sizes small in order to maximize opportunities for student-faculty interaction.
- Students have opportunities for experiential learning through research experiences, internships and service learning, curricular and co-curricular programming in residences, and through the more than 180 clubs and societies on campus.
- Over the past 10 years we have reduced our infrastructure footprint.
- Mount A continues to look at how to make optimal use of our space and ensure it meets the needs of our people and programs.
Financing higher education
- Mount Allison is one of four post-secondary institutions in the province of New Brunswick.
- The provincial grant currently covers 46 per cent of the University’s operating budget and the government has imposed regulations on tuition.
- Public funding of universities is expected to stay the same at best, or be reduced at worst. Given New Brunswick’s current financial situation, it is likely that grants to universities will be unpredictable in the coming years.
- The University is critical to the social and economic development of the Town of Sackville and the southeastern New Brunswick region.
- In Canada’s knowledge economy, an educated population is essential to our collective future.