There is a significant increase in the number of students enrolled this fall in Quebec CEGEPs, according to preliminary data collected by the Fédération des cégeps.
The data collected between Aug. 1 and 20 indicates that 174,503 students are enrolled in CEGEPs this fall, which is three per cent higher than during the same period in 2019.
Among these students, 78,449 of them are entering CEGEP for the first time. This is an increase of 0.7 per cent or 561 additional students compared to last fall.
Of the 174,503 students currently enrolled, 46.5 per cent are in pre-university studies and 47.7 per cent in the technical sector. Women represent 57.2 per cent of the total student population, while men account for 42.8 per cent.
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The largest increases in the college student population are in the Chaudière-Appalaches, Gaspésie, Laval, Lanaudière, Quebec City and Outaouais regions.
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In terms of numbers, Montreal-area CEGEPs report the biggest gains with a total of 1,104 more students compared to the same period last year.
The CEGEPs in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Laurentides regions, however, saw a drop in students.
The Fédération des cégeps also reported that the number of international students is on the decline. There are 4,883 international students enrolled in CEGEP in regular education classes, which is 2.2 per cent less than a year ago.
The number of new registrations among international students attending CEGEPs has also fallen sharply in one year, by 23.6 per cent.
Bernard Tremblay, president and CEO of the Fédération des cégeps, said he is happy to see a general boost in the number of college students. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, he said Quebec will need CEGEP graduates more than ever to revive its economy and respond to the skilled labour shortages.
© 2020 The Canadian Press