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Cape Breton University sees major boom in enrolment due to international students

The Cape Breton University sign is seen in an undated file photo. The Cape Breton University sign is seen in an undated file photo.

New figures are indicating that one of Atlantic Canada's smaller universities is seeing a boom in enrolment due to international students coming to Cape Breton.

The preliminary figures for 2023-24 released on the website of the Association of Atlantic Universities indicates that Cape Breton University has 8,517 full-time students enrolled as of October this year, up more than 3,100 compared to a year earlier.

The growth dwarfs the increases in other Nova Scotia universities. For example, at nearby St. Francis Xavier, in Antigonish, N.S., the student enrolment only grew by 22 students, from 5,789 to 5,811 in the same time period.

The campus in Sydney, N.S., now has the second highest enrolment in the province after Dalhousie University, which has 18,836 full-time students registered.

The statistics released indicated the Cape Breton school's increases have largely come from international students, which has been the focus of its recruiting efforts in recent years.

The figures indicate that of Cape Breton University's 9,100 full-time and part-time students, about 76 per cent are coming from overseas.

The Association of Atlantic Universities says Cape Breton University's enrolment is up nearly 54 per cent over last year.

The overall average increase at Nova Scotia's 10 universities was 6.6 per cent, which association chair Rob Summerby-Murray said in a news release was "dominated by Cape Breton University's exceptional international success."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2023.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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