he University of Lethbridge reporting strong student enrolment numbers for the 2020 fall semester, even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, there are 8,987 students registered in classes which represents a 0.4% increase from last year’s fall semester.

The university says that speaks to the hard work put in by staff and faculty to ensure that students are confident in their academic experience.

“Honestly, when the summer began and we started to look ahead to the fall, I’m not sure we knew what to expect,” says Kathleen Massey, the University’s associate vice-president (students). “The one thing we did know is we had a lot of work in front of us to create a primarily online learning platform that would give our students, both new and returning, the U of L experience for which we are known.”

Officials decided in May that a majority of classes for the fall semester, which began last week, would primarily be conducted online.in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, numbers are also up in a few other key figures including student retention and among graduate, Indigenous and international student populations.

The U of L’s student retention rate improved 2.1% from the previous year, with 86.4% of those eligible to come back to the local post-secondary institution opting to return.

(With files from U of L release)