After welcoming more learners than ever before in 2021-22 against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, NBCC continues its upward trend in enrolment. The College recorded an increase of more than 8% for the Fall term of 2022-23, reflecting the commitment of NBCC staff to transform lives and communities by providing accessible skills training to more learners than ever before.
With one in three NBCC students coming from outside of Canada, international students are the major driver in NBCC’s enrolment growth. International enrolment increased by 44% for the Fall term compared to the same time last year, representing both an opportunity and a challenge for the College, said Mary Butler, President and CEO of NBCC.
“We are thrilled to be a gateway to New Brunswick for so many international learners, but we also recognize that there are many factors impacting international student experiences - visa processing delays before they arrive; housing, transportation and community readiness when they come to New Brunswick; and the successful transition to work in New Brunswick after graduation,” said Butler. “Welcoming and retaining international learners is a community effort and NBCC is committed to working with governments, community stakeholders, and employers to ensure New Brunswick is ready to support international students.”
While international enrolment grew considerably, NBCC’s domestic enrolment declined slightly, following a national trend. With 92 fewer students this fall over 2021-22, the domestic rate dropped 2.8%. Over a five-year period, domestic enrolment decreased 4.7%, compared to the national decrease of 3.5%.
“We know that New Brunswick has the lowest proportion of 18- to 29-year-olds in education of any province in Canada,” said Butler. “There are approximately 20,000 NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) youth in New Brunswick, and New Brunswick’s overall post-secondary attainment rate among working age New Brunswickers is 58% -- the lowest in Canada. Our challenge is to find new ways to reach those who have not typically pursued post-secondary education.”
The return to in-person recruitment activities should have a positive impact on domestic enrolment, Butler noted. The College is also developing its first Strategic Enrolment Management plan to identify potential learners and how best to recruit them, along with how to support their retention and graduation.
The domestic enrolment trend is concerning given New Brunswick’s aging population, the current labour shortage, and the anticipated retirement of baby boomers over the next several years, as well as, the pace of automation and technological disruption in the workplace, said Butler.
“NBCC is New Brunswick’s largest provider of skilled training, and we have a key role to play in preparing New Brunswickers for the changing world of work,” she said. “We need to create more on and off ramps to education so people can access the skills needed for the work of today and tomorrow. Our Going Beyond fundraising campaign is all about removing barriers to post-secondary education, with accelerated paths to flexible training, innovative delivery that can be accessed from anywhere, and increased student financial support to reach under-represented learners.”
About NBCC: As one of New Brunswick’s largest postsecondary education institutions, NBCC drives social and economic wellbeing across the province. NBCC welcomes 11,000 learners each year through quality-assured, relevant training opportunities. Supported by the Going Beyond campaign, NBCC is committed to accelerating skills development, innovating educational delivery, and reaching unprecedented numbers of New Brunswickers. Find out more at: www.nbcc.ca.
Tanya Greer, Lead, Strategic Communications
Tel: (506) 440-9105