Annual Enrolment Report 2023-24

UBC welcomed nearly 73 thousand new and returning students this year. Although we are no longer in a global health emergency, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the recruitment and enrolment of students, particularly international students. Pre-pandemic, international students joining UBC from both high schools and colleges within Canada, specifically from within BC, constituted the largest group of incoming international undergraduate students. International enrolment at BC high schools and colleges dropped dramatically during the pandemic and is now only slowly rebounding.

Institutions worldwide are seeking to restore enrolment shortfalls experienced as a result of the pandemic. Many of the top post-secondary institutions in Canada and around the world are engaging more heavily and increasing their efforts to recruit and retain international students, even those that previously didn’t, resulting in significant competition for excellent students.

Geo-political instability in many parts of the world, as well as student affordability, are key factors this year in affecting student mobility. The negative economic impact of the pandemic on many family household incomes combined with the increased cost of living and housing crisis in Canada has made post-secondary education less affordable for far more students than in the past.

While domestic enrolment remained stable, the aforementioned challenges have contributed to an overall decline in international student enrolment this year. While many external factors impacting enrolment are not within the university’s control, UBC remains steadfast and agile in its ability to navigate unforeseen circumstances. UBC continues to focus on developing and executing highly effective recruitment and admissions strategies, as well as initiatives that will support enrolment and retention of a diverse student body. With the launch of the Student Diversity Census this year, this initiative will help UBC better understand the diversity of our student community and their experiences. Demographically representative student data will guide the university’s continued efforts in effectively supporting student inclusion and success.

UBC’s commitment to world class education and research, truth and reconciliation, and advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion will continue to serve the university in attracting and enrolling a diverse community of outstanding students from British Columbia, the rest of Canada, and around the world.

View the 2023-24 Annual Enrolment Report