Okanagan College orientation 3

The total headcount at Okanagan College this fall is 7,346, similar to last year but well down from the 8,164 mark seen in the pre-pandemic autumn of 2019. Shown here is a file photo from college orientation week in 2016.

The student headcount at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College is down four percent compared to 2020.

Enrolment at the much smaller Penticton campus is down 15% but it’s up nine percent at the Vernon campus. Together, those two campuses have about one-third as many students as the Kelowna campus on KLO Road.

Across all of the college’s four campuses and including distance learning, the domestic and international student headcount is now 7,346, similar to last year but well down from the 8,164 mark seen in 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, total course registrations, 29,000, are similar to last year but considerably below the level of almost 33,000 in the fall of 2019.

One of the sharpest declines has been among foreign students, according to a staff report going to the college’s board of governors at a meeting on Tuesday. Enrolment in this program, which provides millions of dollars in extra revenue for the college because foreign students’ education is not subsidized by the government, is down more than 14%.

Enrolment across several of the college’s key programs is down considerably from 2019 levels.

For example, the student headcount in arts programs is down almost eight percent from last year, and it’s down 13% from 2019.

The headcount in science programs is down 10% from two years ago, as is the headcount in technology programs.

And while the student headcount in college-wide health programs rose 23% compared to a year ago, it’s still down nine percent from three years ago. Similarly, while the headcount in trades is up nine percent at the Kelowna campus from last year, it’s still down 12% from 2019.

By far, most of the college’s business programs are offered out of the Kelowna campus. Enrolment in these programs is nine percent below last year’s level and it’s down 15% from two years ago.