Fixing Laurier’s enrolment problem
Enrolment at Wilfrid Laurier University is alarmingly low, and there are several possible causal factors, including late admission letters, low nationwide university enrolment and unsurprisingly, the university’s inability to attract students.
It may be true that fewer people are willing to go to university generally, and that Laurier is just one of many universities suffering from low enrolment.
However, it is unlikely that this reason alone accounts for the decrease in enrolment, as it isn’t hefty enough to carry all the blame. Believing Laurier’s problem is within the framework of a much bigger nationwide problem may be comforting to a few, but it only serves to distort reality and create a chimera that suggests
Laurier itself isn’t to blame in its demise.
It is impossible to forgive the lacklustre image Laurier has created for itself. It is perceived by many that Laurier is nothing but a “party” school with a great business faculty, and there have been no explicit efforts by the university administration to change this image — perhaps into a school with decent business, arts, science and music faculties.
The university desperately needs to invest some more time and creativity into upgrading its academic and intellectual persona, rather than blindly investing in efforts that appeal to the more trivial university experiences.
Conceivably, if this manages to be done, there is no doubt that prospective students — many of whom are looking for substantial university degrees — will see Laurier in a different way. They’ll see Laurier not only as the university with the extraordinary parties, but as one with infinite possibilities, where dreams manifest beyond a university certificate into real-world success. Most importantly, they’ll see Laurier as an avenue to attain the sort of intellectual experience that only a handful of universities can replicate.
Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go, and at this moment, the idea of an intellectually conscious Laurier campus is only just that: an idea.