Campus Life

Energy surges through campus with return of students

Residence buildings are full, hallways are busy, campus facilities are alive with activity — the students are back.

New Student Orientation featured Luxie as a welcome ambassador.

The University of Lethbridge’s 2023 Fall Term begins Wednesday, Sept. 6, and with 3,000 new students rolling into Lethbridge and Calgary campuses, and more than 8,400 students overall, the buzz of a new year has returned.

On Sunday, residence students began moving into campus housing. Residence buildings are full this fall and Housing Services was busy over the long weekend checking students in and helping families get their learners settled.

“It’s exciting to be at nearly full capacity with 960 students in residence including a record 100 international students,” says Laura Correal, Associate Director of Housing Services. “The residence experience plays such a big role in student success and student retention and the introductory activities our residence assistants have planned for students are designed to really make them feel welcome on campus and to start creating that supportive residence community that can have such a positive influence on their academic careers at ULethbridge.”

The record number of international students is not only reflective of residence but across the university. More than 1,200 international students are attending ULethbridge this fall, including more than 350 at the Calgary campus. It’s a new record that speaks to the University’s commitment to internationalization and its reputation as a welcoming, inclusive, high-quality institution.

Residence buildings were teeming with activity as students moved in over the weekend.

“We’ve put a lot of work into our approach to broadening our reach into international markets, and we’ve done it in a way that’s been very intentional and with the students’ best interests in mind,” says Paul Pan, Executive Director, International. “To bring students from 90 countries to our campus is exciting and creates a campus community reflective of the ULethbridge philosophy of liberal education and creating global citizens who will benefit society throughout the world.”

New Student Orientation is another key part of the first few days of the semester, and it saw more than 1,300 registrants take part on Tuesday (Calgary campus NSO takes place Wednesday). From an opening Pronghorn Athletics Pep Rally to a welcome from new President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Digvir Jayas, keynote speaker Kacie Bosch (BA ’21, former Pronghorn athlete, coach and current after-degree student), campus tours, introductory student services sessions, faculty meet-and-greets and more, the day provided students the opportunity to get their academic journey started on the right foot.

“New Student Orientation really sets the stage for our beginning students, and we spend a lot of time making sure we are meeting the needs of each incoming class,” says Kathleen Massey, vice-provost (students). “There is so much thrown at them the first few weeks they are on campus, socially and academically, and we want to help them with that transition to post-secondary life so that they can feel confident from the outset. We want all our students to achieve success and to know we are here to support them in reaching their goals — and that starts from day one.”

Another key program launched by ULethbridge this fall was the introduction of the StartSmart Quiz, a three-year, proactive student retention initiative designed to help new undergraduate students achieve their academic goals and increase first-year student retention. All new undergraduate students were invited to complete a university readiness self-assessment quiz. While voluntary, it was an opportunity for new students to reflect on their readiness for university. The self-assessment gives feedback on seven skills that research shows contribute to university success.

Jayas, in his address at NSO, welcomed students to campus noting they were both entering their first ULethbridge terms together.

“I know many of you have travelled from across the province, Canada and the world to attend ULethbridge. So have I,” he said. “I have received a very warm welcome from everyone at ULethbridge and the Lethbridge community already and I know you will as well.”

And so it begins!