By Yohannes Edemariam
Ryerson could face reduced educational quality and overcrowded halls if it misjudges how many students it accepts this year, says the head of the admissions.
Ryerson typically sends out three offers of acceptance for every space it has to fill because not every student who receives an offer of admission will accept.
This year with about 101,000 double cohort graduates increasing competition for spaces, Gene Logel, the head of admissions, is unsure how the acceptance process will be affected.
“The chances [in terms of] error factor this year are scary,” says Logel.
Ryerson saw a 46 per cent increase in applications this year, complicating the admissions process and raising concerns that the school will be short of space and suffer a shortage of educational resources.
“Admissions is a game of Russian Roulette and it’s a case of the early bird gets the worm,” Logel told the finance committee last Wednesday.
Many Ontario high school students have already agreed to study outside of Ontario next year. Out-of-province schools mailed out early acceptances to capitalize on the Ontario situation.
Because competition in Ontario is so intense, many students will not be able to enrol in their program of choice.
This has led to an increase in high school students applying for more than three programs, but Logel is unsure how many of those students seriously intend to enrol.
“We’re starting to hear from students that if they don’t get one of their first three choices they’re not going to go on,” said Logel.
No acceptances have been mailed out yet as admissions staff are attempting to create accurate projections for an admissions formula.
In some programs, the university is planning on sending out a substantial increase in acceptances.
For example, Ryerson plans to offer 4,200 students the opportunity to study business administration. That number is significantly higher from the 2,500 acceptances the school mailed out for the program last year.
Of those 2,500, only 570 actually chose to attend while the rest went to other schools — admissions staff is hoping that a similar proportion will choose to come to Ryerson this year.
Logel said that the challenge next year will be to meet government targets for admissions without diminishing the quality of education in any of Ryerson’s 44 programs.
Admissions planners from different Ontario universities will meet at the end of the month to compare their projections and prepare as much as possible to pre-emptively deal with ay worst case scenarios.
Logel said the staff involved in the acceptance process have their work cut out for them.
“We are looking at a lot of long days and weekends to review applications,” he said.
Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse dismissed concerns about letting in too many students.
“Many programs, I would be a lot more concerned if I had less students than anticipated rather than have too many students,” he said. “I mean I would be concerned if we had 10,000 students but we’re talking maybe a hundred or two or three, that is not an issue.”