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Enrollment up at KU Medical Center, down at Lawrence

Spring enrollment at the KU Medical Center is at a record high as enrollment there increased for the fifth consecutive year. Following three record-setting years, KU's overall enrollment remains steady, according to a report released by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Significant increases in the School of Nursing, at 29.7 percent, and the School of Allied Health, at 15 percent, contributed heavily to the enrollment surge at the medical center.

KU's overall enrollment is 27,875, down slightly from the spring 2006 record high of 27,994. Enrollment at the KU Medical Center increased 5.9 percent, for an all-time high of 2,769 students.

According to Rita Clifford, associate dean at the School of Nursing, the largest increase was in the school's graduate degree program, with an increase of 29.7 percent. The concentration of students in the graduate program is by design, Clifford said.

With nearly 500 applicants each year for the bachelor's degree in nursing program, it's evident that the word of the nationwide nursing shortage has spread, she said. As one of only five schools in Kansas that offers a graduate nursing degree, Clifford said the school has an obligation to prepare practicing nurses to teach those who come after them.

"We're trying to add to the pool of nursing educators," Clifford said. "The next big nursing shortage will be nursing faculty and clinicians."

KU is the largest university in the Kansas Board of Regents system. KU has more Kansas residents enrolled 19,268 than any other state university. KU also has more nonresidents enrolled 8,607 for spring 2007 than any other state university.

The Board of Regents figures show a system-wide increase of 166 students for a 0.2 percent increase in spring 2007 over spring 2006. The six state universities reported a combined enrollment of 82,788 students.

Total KU spring enrollment since 1994:

  • Spring 2007: 27,875
  • Spring 2006: 27,994 (record)
  • Spring 2005: 27,890
  • Spring 2004: 27,772
  • Spring 2003: 27,463
  • Spring 2002: 26,894
  • Spring 2001: 26,857
  • Spring 2000: 26,545
  • Spring 1999: 26,297
  • Spring 1998: 26,214
  • Spring 1997: 25,755
  • Spring 1996: 26,261
  • Spring 1995: 26,127
  • Spring 1994: 27,131

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