When the University of Guelph-Humber was first established, the maximum capacity of students was projected to be around 3000. Currently, the school is almost at 5000 students.

Jerry Chomyn, University of Guelph adjunct professor, revealed the statistic after completion of an operational review for the University of Guelph-Humber.

The work was conducted during the 2017-18 calendar year and also revealed that the school needs to “find a new site,” and this possibility was described as “currently being actively explored.”

Chomyn was the head of media studies at the time of the review and authored most of the report.

He said,

“The reality, the building that we’re in, we have filled it to capacity.”

Rani Dhaliwal helped organize the review. She’s the senior vice-president of transformation and strategic partnership and a member of the steering committee for the review.

“We’ve done projections on this campus. How could it grow here with the tightness of the space that we’re experiencing today, but also to be frank we need to keep our mind open. Where could it be, and what’s the future opportunities?”

Dhaliwal said it’s early in the process to project expansion but a future strategic plan will look at enrolment and “opportunities for different programs that we perhaps don’t offer today.”

Chomyn said despite full enrolment, safety regulations have not been compromised.

“It just means that classes have to go later, exams are scheduled on the weekends. I mean things that we haven’t had to deal with before all the sudden have to be looked at. And so as a result we have classes from eight in the morning until nine at night.”

Kellie Cao, a second-year early childhood studies student, said she would like to see an expansion at the university.

Cao finds the school to be overcrowded, to the point where she is unable to find seating around campus whether it is during the busy hours of the day or not.

According to the operational review, the lack of space at Guelph-Humber has led to another problem.

The provincial government has created a new funding model where enrolment is tied to funding.

Due to the space limitation at Guelph-Humber, the review said that enrolment growth will be constrained within the next two to three years. This could result in a decline in funding and may lead to an increase in tuition.

According to the review,

“The province will negotiate an enrolment level for which a university will receive stable enrolment-based operating grants for the duration of the three years, providing enrolment remains within a pre-defined corridor.”

Dhaliwal said that, “We will probably start to look at it once we have a sense of what the enrolment growth is.”

She added it would be premature to comment on this now and would be a better question to ask once a strategic plan has been done.

She didn’t say when the strategic plan would be completed.

As to possible tuition increases, Dhaliwal said that it is a matter for the provincial government to decide and that it was out of the school’s hands.

The Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton said in a statement, “We are making reasonable and pragmatic decisions on projects as we return to balanced budgets.”

The operational review can be found here.