UH System Sees 4.7 Percent Increase in Enrollment

2,288 additional students begin fall classes

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Sep 16, 2003

HONOLULU — For the third straight year, the University of Hawai'i system is seeing steady growth in enrollment. Preliminary enrollment figures released today show that the University of Hawai'i system had a 4.7 percent increase in enrollment or 2,288 additional students this fall as compared to fall semester 2002. The total number of UH students system-wide now stands at 50,765. It is expected that another 29,000 students will be enrolling in non-credit programs throughout the UH system, bringing the total enrollment to more than 79,000.

"We‘ve made a consistent university-wide effort to focus on increasing enrollment. It is obvious that each campus has thought strategically, implemented new approaches and focused on results," said UH President Evan Dobelle. "I applaud the individual campus teams who have delivered these results."

Seven of the 10 UH campuses experienced growth. The highest percentage gain was seen at UH Hilo with an 8.8 percent increase in enrollment over last year or 271 new students. Windward Community College had the second highest gain and the highest for community colleges with an increase of 6.9 percent or 122 new students. Leeward Community College was close behind with a student growth rate of 6.8 percent or 403 new students. UH Mānoa, which experienced the highest numerical gains, saw a 5.5 percent increase over last fall or 1,033 additional students raising total enrollment to 19,742. Kapiʻolani Community College rounded out the top five with a 6.3 percent increase or 458 new students.

"UH Hilo has experienced a nearly 30 percent student growth rate over the past 6 years resulting in the highest enrollment in our institution‘s history in all student categories — local, mainland and international. Our successful development can largely be attributed to the high quality, personalized education experience we offer and the dedication of the faculty and staff of this comprehensive university," said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng.

WCC Chancellor Angela Meixell pointed to good planning, not happenstance, that has led to record enrollment. "Windward has experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in enrollment over the last three years and this is not by chance — it is based on careful research and a faculty-lead initiative that examines the best ways we can serve our students. If a class isn‘t full, we reevaluate every aspect of it from the time it is being offered to the subject matter — this process helps ensure we are meeting student needs and using our resources effectively."

UH Mānoa Chancellor Peter Englert sees the increases as a signal that more students are viewing UH Mānoa as a solid academic career choice. "Mānoa‘s enrollment has increased more than 10 percent in the last two years, and we‘re pleased that so many freshmen and transfer students have made this their campus of choice," said Englert.

The UH system hopes to carry on this trend for years to come. Interim Associate Vice President for Planning and Policy Linda Johnsrud points to the numerous factors that contribute to enrollment growth. "The state and national economies play a significant role, but so do specific actions taken by the system such as the five-year tuition schedule, which makes costs predictable for students. Campuses also deserve enormous credit for their energetic recruitment efforts and strategic enrollment management."

David McClain, UH vice president for academic affairs, commented that "we're delighted that nearly 2,300 more students have chosen the University of Hawai'i. These enrollment results attest to the recognized quality and value of the educational programs offered across our 10-campus system."