uSask working to verify Aboriginal enrolment figures

December 12, 2012

The fall enrolment census at the University of Saskatchewan indicated Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate student numbers are down 8.9% and 8%, respectively, from the previous year, "but official statistics and anecdotal statistics often don't match up," says the university registrar. He and a number of others at uSask are working to understand what students view as a self-declaration of Aboriginal ancestry, to encourage students to self-declare, and to determine how to gather that data from across campus. The importance of accurate enrolment numbers is twofold, the registrar says. First, uSask "wants to be able to say we're a destination of choice for Aboriginal students," a claim that needs to supported by data. "Also, having the right data goes hand in hand with having the right supports and services." The working group plans to revise language on admission forms and in the campus portal to explain why uSask is collecting self-declaration information. There will also be a campaign launched before the next census day in February to educate Aboriginal students about the value of self-declaring, but the registrar stresses it is strictly voluntary. uSask On Campus News (page 1 and 2 of PDF)