The University of California Board of Regents has approved a budget plan that calls for enrolling an additional 10,000 California undergraduates over the next three years, including 5,000 freshman and transfer students in 2016-17.
Under the plan, all nine University of California campuses that educate undergraduates will enroll more California students.
“UC is committed to expanding the number of California undergraduates who attend the university, and to sustaining that expanded access,” UC President Janet Napolitano says.
The university says in a news release that the increase in enrollment reflects an agreement made earlier this year with state lawmakers that provides the university system with the fiscal stability it needs to expand access and make needed investments in academic excellence. As part of the plan, tuition will remain at existing levels in the coming year.
According to an August 2015 fact sheet from the University of California, the system has 195,100 undergraduate students on nine campuses--87 percent of those are in-state residents.
UC intends to enroll an additional 2,500 California resident undergraduates in 2017-2018 and a like number in 2018-19, for a total increase of 10,000 students. The university also is requesting an additional $6 million in state funding to enroll 600 more graduate students in 2016-17, and will seek to continue increasing graduate student enrollment at a proportionate rate for the following two years.
Increasing graduate enrollment is key to the success of the overall plan, officials say. As faculty are added, along with more undergraduates, graduate students will support faculty in the university’s research mission and assist with the teaching load associated with undergraduates.
The university is working to address the logistical hurdles inherent in such rapid growth, such as ensuring that campuses have adequate faculty, staff, classroom space and housing.