UH system enrollment
sees modest increase
Declines at most community
colleges offset gains at other
Enrollment increases at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, UH-Hilo, UH-West Oahu and Hawaii Community College were offset by lower numbers of students in other community colleges, according to preliminary figures released yesterday.
The UH administration estimates total enrollment at all 10 campuses is 50,802, an increase of 37 students, or 0.1 percent, compared with enrollment in fall 2003.
Of the 10 campuses, UH-Manoa saw the largest numerical gain in enrollment with 721 students over last year, a percentage increase of 3.7 percent, for a total of 20,463.
Hawaii Community College, which is the only community college to experience an increase in enrollment over last year, saw the largest percentage increase in enrollment with a 4.1 percent increase, or 95 students, for a total of 2,414.
"Of course we are happy that more students recognize the value of our academic programs here at Manoa," said UH-Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert. "But we need to balance that enthusiasm with concern for the stress this places on our resources.
"Since fall 2000, our enrollment has increased by 3,200 students -- a little over 18 percent -- and we have had virtually no corresponding increase in our instructional budget."
UH-West Oahu and UH-Hilo also had enrollment increases this semester. There are 847 students enrolled at UH-West Oahu, a 3.2 percent increase over last year, or 26 students. UH-Hilo's opening enrollment grew slightly with a total of 3,365 enrolled students, a 0.7 percent increase, or 25 students.
"Though smaller than past years, this increase extends the upward trend that began in the fall of 1997, and has seen our enrollment grow by more than 25 percent," said UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng.
Enrollment at the community colleges stands at 26,127, a decrease of 2.7 percent, or 735 students. Six of the seven community colleges saw decreases in enrollment, with Maui Community College experiencing the smallest decrease at 0.2 percent, or six students, for a total of 2,998, and Kauai Community College experiencing the largest decrease at 9.1 percent, or 110 students, for a total of 1,100.
"Enrollments in higher education typically run counter to growth in the economy and the number of jobs available. As of July, Hawaii's unemployment rate was 3.3 percent, compared to 4.4 percent last year, showing that job growth is up," said Linda Johnsrud, UH interim associate vice president for planning and policy. "The availability of jobs has a direct impact on enrollments in the community colleges. In addition, the recent military deployments from Hawaii are likely to have affected community college enrollments."
Honolulu Community College's enrollment stands at 4,358, a decrease of 1.9 percent, or 86 students; Kapiolani Community College's enrollment stands at 7,337, a decrease of 4.5 percent or 342 students; Leeward Community College's enrollment stands at 6,141, a decrease of 2.8 percent, or 177 students; and Windward Community College's enrollment stands at 1,779, a decrease of 5.8 percent, or 109 students.
"Though our enrollment growth this year has moderated, we still need to respond to the surge we've experienced throughout the system over the past several years," said UH acting President David McClain. "This will be one of the university's key priorities in our proposed biennium budget."
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Enrollment at Uh campuses
» UH-Manoa: 20,463, 3.7 percent increase
» UH-Hilo: 3,365, 0.7 percent increase
» UH-West Oahu: 847, 3.2 percent increase
» Honolulu Community College: 4,358, 1.9 percent decrease
» Kapiolani Community College: 7,337, 4.5 percent decrease
» Leeward Community College: 6,141, 2.8 percent decrease
» Windward Community College: 1,779, 5.8 percent decrease
» Hawaii Community College: 2,414, 4.1 percent increase
» Maui Community College: 2,998, 0.2 percent decrease
» Kauai Community College: 1,100, 9.1 percent decrease
» Total UH system: 50,802, 0.1 percent increase
Source: University of Hawaii