We welcomed new and returning students to UBC under decidedly different circumstances this year. The global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 impacted all facets of university life and operations. Student recruitment, campus operations, teaching modes, research, and the delivery of support services all saw significant transformation as our community responded to the pandemic. This was also a very challenging year for prospective and continuing students and their families, domestically and around the world.
While the challenges will continue for some time, the university recognizes the extraordinary resilience and commitment of its students, faculty, and staff in meeting the challenges, and we are grateful to students for their continuing pursuit of their educational goals. The profound resolve of our community is reflected in remarkable and amazing outcomes for this year.
UBC is actively involved in improving our demographic data to more fully support the diversity within our student body. In the spring of 2021, when our new student admission portal, Education Planner British Columbia (EPBC) is introduced, non-binary gender identification options for undergraduate applicants will become available.
Furthermore, UBC is exploring the potential to collect additional demographic data from students to help better describe the student population, especially those who have been historically underrepresented on UBC campuses. The goal is to provide the information needed to plan for and enhance student support and services. The Equity and Inclusion Office, Planning and Institutional Research, and Enrolment Services are working together to identify relevant data and appropriate methods for collection. Such data will support the evaluation of the student experience and the value of existing and planned supports.