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Record retention

Keep calm and study on at Memorial University

Teaching and Learning

By Michelle Osmond

A record number of students returned to Memorial University last fall.

A group of students of varying ethnic backgrounds walk in a line on campus in summer
The retention rate of undergraduate students at Memorial is the highest its been in the past 10 years and is up five per cent from 2019.
Photo: David Howells

Of the new undergraduate students who joined Memorial directly from high school in 2019, 86.7 per cent returned to continue their studies in September 2020.

It’s the highest retention rate of this group in the past 10 years, and is up five per cent from 2019.

Memorial reviews enrolment and retention rates on an annual basis to identify trends and to conduct analysis.

Good news in the face of challenges

Memorial president Dr. Vianne Timmons smiles at the camera wearing a brown jacket and black shirt with green trees in the background
Dr. Vianne Timmons
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

President Vianne Timmons notes that the increased retention would be welcome news any year, but it’s especially good news given the challenges that students and the university have faced during the pandemic.

“Our students returned to Memorial in record numbers because they see the value in education,” she said. “And our instructors had to quickly change how they were teaching and evaluating. They certainly rose to the occasion and went above and beyond to ensure the students were supported.”

Back to campus

“I’m very much looking forward to welcoming our students back to campus in the fall and we’re committed to working hard to ensure these numbers keep going up,” President Timmons added.

The record retention increase follows news published earlier this year regarding an increase in enrolments for the winter 2021 semester: an overall increase of 3.9 per cent from the winter 2020 semester.

In addition, Memorial saw record enrolment in fall 2020 with 19,429 students, only the second time student numbers topped 19,000 at the province’s only university.


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