Enrollment on the four University of Nebraska campuses edges toward 52,000 students, its highest enrollment since 1993.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds says the university campuses must grow to help the state grow.
“We live in the most competitive higher education market place of our lifetime,” Bounds tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “Every university in this country, not every university, but most all universities, are really trying to grow.”
On the largest campus, enrollment grew a percent to 25,260; record enrollment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The University of Nebraska-Omaha reports a 2% increase in the number of students there, with enrollment this fall at 15,526. The University of Nebraska Medical Center, also located in Omaha, saw the biggest percentage increase of 2 ½ percent to 3,790.
Enrollment at the University of Nebraska-Kearney dipped by 2.2% to 6,747
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, also a part of the system, grew to 512 students.
Bounds says student recruitment has to be much more focused, much more intentional in engaging the business communities about its needs. He says the campuses must attract students from out of state as well as non-traditional students, such as the person who has some college, but not a degree or the person coming off active duty with the military.
To grow, Nebraska must do a better job of telling its story, according to Bounds.
“We have to sell ourselves and the great news is we have a great product to sell,” according to Bounds.
Bounds says growth is required to fill the tens of millions of jobs to be created in this country in the new economy.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]