Alumni who have considered returning to U of T for a second degree may want to send in an application soon, as the university embarks on an ambitious plan to increase graduate enrolment 20 per cent by fall 2007.
About 2,000 additional grad students are expected to be admitted to U of T over the next two years as part of a provincial initiative, announced in 2005, to boost the number of graduate students studying at Ontario universities.
The expansion will provide “superb opportunities” for alumni to return to U of T for a master’s or doctorate degree from among dozens of academic fields, says Susan Pfeiffer, dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “We hope alumni will seriously consider applying for U of T graduate programs and encourage others to do so.”
The first wave of 400 additional grad students will arrive at U of T this fall, with an additional wave expected in the fall of 2007. At the same time, the number of undergraduates will decline slightly, as members of the double cohort finish their first degrees.
Graduate students play a central role in the university’s research activities and will be crucial as U of T expands its mission to create new knowledge. “Graduate students are the lifeblood of university research,” says Vivek Goel, vice-president and provost. “Sustaining and expanding our research effort depends on the availability of excellent graduate students.”
Among the faculties, arts and science is expected to take the most new graduate students, followed by medicine, engineering, music, the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management and OISE/UT. Although most of the additional students will be drawn from within Canada, U of T will continue to welcome international applications. “Foreign students bring a breadth of background and experience to our programs,” says Pfeiffer.
The big question facing campus planners is how to accommodate all these new scholars. New graduate research space has become available on the downtown campus in the past year with the opening of the Donnelly Centre and the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, but more will be required. Safwat Zaky, vice-provost, planning and budget, says plans to construct new buildings or expand existing ones are underway and projects will proceed on all three campuses once the province announces the next round of capital funding for universities – likely in late August or early September.
Besides recruiting more graduate students, U of T will be offering two new master’s programs this fall: in women’s and gender studies, offered through arts and science, and in management of innovation, offered at UTM through the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Other new programs proposed for fall 2007 include a PhD in planning and a master of public policy, both offered through arts and science, and a master of finance, offered by Rotman.