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Vision 2020 goals expected to be met

HALEIGH PREVOST ACCEPTED her offer to the University of Ottawa’s criminology program last week, getting in to her dream program. Prevost is one of the new students who will be attending the U of O this September, and one of 22,500 who applied.

“Criminology was probably the perfect program, I think,” said Prevost. “I’ve debated between U of O and Carleton­ because I liked the [U of O] campus better—I liked the location more—but it was a toss-up.”

According to Christine Lamothe, liaison manager in the admissions office, U of O is a first-choice school for more students across Ontario this year than last year,  making it easy for the university to hit targets set by Vision 2020.

“We’re aiming at moderate growth, which is 500 new students annually,” said Lamothe. “As far as applications are concerned, we were up 3.6 per cent in applications and up 4.3 per cent in first choice.”

Vision 2020, revealed last fall, aims to admit 500 new students yearly on top of replacing those who graduated. Lamothe said this number was determined after talks with other universities across Ontario.

“Every institution in the province talks to each other, we all have goals that we set to make sure we’re taking on our fair share of students, making sure there’s access to education,” she said. “So we take our increases where we can to make sure students in the country have access to our programming.

“In general, what we’re seeing is increased participation rates of students interested in university,” Lamothe added. “More students decide to choose a university path instead of college.”

Lamothe said the decision of students whether to go to college or university changes from year to year, but the U of O has seen a steady increase in applications over the past three years. Lamothe can’t recall having a specific cap on the number of acceptances before Vision 2020, but said certain programs can accommodate growth better than others.

“We have expansions for specific programs and caps by program to make sure students are serviced properly,” she said.

As for Prevost, she considers herself lucky to have gained early admission to U of O.

“It was a bit nerve-racking at first—about being rejected—but I got early admission,” said Prevost. “I thought with the political ties being right in Ottawa and the legal ties, it would be the perfect city.”

—Jane Lytvynenko