The number of enrolled students at UWG is 11,769. That’s a 1.1 percent over last fall’s enrollment of 11,646 students, a new UWG record. The results come from a report by the University System of Georgia, released this week.
UWG President Dr. Beheruz Sethna said he is “very pleased” to see such a positive trend, despite systemwide challenges.
“We have weathered those challenges and have come away with a record enrollment, which is a sign of confidence,” Sethna said. “We’re delighted with the numbers.”
Sethna attributed the 1.1 percent uptick to a variety of reasons, including the “Go West” marketing campaign, student satisfaction and the vision of becoming a “destination university.”
“More students and parents are becoming attracted to our university because of our vision,” Sethna said.
That vision is four-fold, Sethna said: academic superiority, vibrant campus life, state-of-the-art facilities and a marketing campaign to “share the story.”
“We have academics that surpass many other universities, with our research initiatives and academic debate, we have an excited and dynamic environment with everything a student could want, and we have facilities that support those two ideas,” Sethna said. “We have the blessing and the curse of being an old campus, with buildings that simply weren’t built for the types of things we do now. A few years ago, our bookstore wasn’t worthy of a destination university. Now it is. Same with several other of our facilities, like our basketball arena.”
Sethna praised the “Go West” campaign, saying he hears about it statewide at conferences and meetings.
“Other presidents come up to me and tell me that they’re jealous of us for having such a good, complete campaign,” Sethna said. “That’s part of how we share our story, along with our Preview Day, to tell potential students that, when students choose to come here, they really love it. I’m a marketing professor, so I think of things in that way: if you have a ‘product,’ you want people to buy it, of course, but you’re also worried about post-purchase satisfaction. That’s what we bring at West Georgia.”
The University System of Georgia saw a 1.2 percent decrease in its 35 colleges and universities’ enrollment. In the fall 2012 semester, 314,365 students were enrolled in USG schools, down from fall 2011’s 318,027 students.
“As we have noted earlier, this small decline in enrollment was not unexpected and we have worked in recent months with the institutions to prepare for such a shift,” said University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby.