Brock University has seen a significant increase in applications among Ontario high school students wanting to attend the University this fall.
Nearing pre-pandemic levels of enrolment interest, Brock received an 11.2 per cent increase in applications from Ontario secondary school students as of the Jan. 13 deadline — the first in a series of key application dates for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.
After a pandemic-related dip across the sector last year, post-secondary schools across the province saw an 8.4 per cent average increase in applications, according to data released this week by the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Brock outpaced that average by nearly three per cent, while also seeing an eight per cent increase in applicants who listed the University as their top choice of the universities they select on the OUAC application forms.
Brock Interim President Lynn Wells says the numbers provide optimistic signs of a positive rebound from COVID-19.
“While it’s still very early in the recruitment cycle, this level of interest from Ontario high school students tells us that students have persevered in their studies through difficult pandemic conditions and are ready to continue their journey with Brock University as their home,” Wells says. “It’s also an important testament to the steps we have taken to make our campus safe this year, including our vaccine mandate. Brock continues to put the health and safety of our campus community at the forefront of everything we do, while also ensuring that students are provided with the high-quality education and on-campus experience they’ve come to expect from us.”
Still to come on the application schedule are the deadlines for international students and college transfers, and the deadline to accept offers from Brock on June 1.
In advance of that, the University’s recruiting team is continuing to use creative ways to reach prospective students. With the pandemic causing the cancellation of major events such as the in-person Ontario Universities Fair in both 2020 and 2021, Brock turned to virtual tours, online open houses and a significant digital marketing campaign.
As the latest pandemic restrictions start to lift, the University hopes to return to in-person tours next month and is planning a full slate of events later this spring to replace what is typically the one-day Spring Open House.
“We’ve tried to meet the prospective students where they are,” said Matt Melnyk, Director, Student Recruitment and Acting Director, International Market Development. “In this online space, we’re competing for their attention, not just amongst schools, but against video games and social media, and everything else digital. We’re trying our best to meet their needs through creativity, responsiveness and being agile with how we engage with these potential students.”
Working with University Marketing and Communications, the Student Recruitment team is using new and creative marketing strategies with trending digital platforms like TikTok and SnapChat, leveraging location- and interest-based targeting, and partnering with social media influencers.
To learn more about what Brock has to offer prospective students, visit discover.brocku.ca