Church Point, NS – Atlantic universities have shown that demographics are not destiny, reporting astounding year-over-year increases in key enrolment categories.

The Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) reported its 2019-20 Preliminary Enrolments today. Highlights of the report include:

  • A 4% year-over-year increase in full-time undergraduate and graduate students(+3,016), total of 77,778
  • A 20.1% year-over-increase in international students (+3,192), total of 19,037
  • A 6.8% year-over-year increase in full-time, first year students (+891), total of14,061

According to Allister Surette, Recteur, Université Sainte-Anne and Chair, AAU, the extraordinary increases in enrolments across the region’s universities are attributable to a few key factors.

“Our universities have understood the demographic challenge facing the region for some time. To that end, more institutional time, effort and resources has been committed to student recruitment, especially internationally.”

The AAU has been a strong advocate that the best source of new immigrants to Atlantic Canada is the growing pool of international students who have chosen to study at the region’s universities. A 2017 AAU survey among international student graduates indicated that among international students:

  • 77% agreed Atlantic Canada “is a place I would like to work and live after graduation;
  • 94% agreed they felt welcomed in Atlantic Canada as new arrivals;
  • 84% said they made close friends in their communities; and,
  • 79% agreed there were “people of my culture in the community.”

Surette also noted that, “Atlantic universities have a strong reputation nationally and internationally for offering great teaching and a truly unique student experience.”

He added that, all our university leaders are highly committed to ensuring our campuses are safe, secure and welcoming. That’s important to students and their families.”

The Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) represents the interests of universities across the region, ensuring public visibility for the important role they play in preparing future leaders of our communities, in path-breaking research and innovation, and in contributing to the economic, cultural and social prosperity of life in Atlantic Canada.


For further information

Peter Halpin
Executive Director, AAU
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(902) 425-4238 or (902) 497-4419

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Only some of our news updates are published in English.

To see all our news, visit the Actualités page.