UC Board of Regents to vote on plan to expand in-state enrollment by 10,000 students

Zainab Ali/Staff

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The UC Board of Regents will vote next week at its November meeting on a plan to expand in-state undergraduate enrollment by 10,000 students over the next three years.

The 2016-17 budget plan, released in the agenda for the meeting, assumes the expanded undergraduate enrollment. The plan arrives amid concern that the increasing number of out-of-state students attending the University of California crowds out California residents and thus counters the university’s mission of providing access to education in the state.

Per an agreement reached between the state and the university last spring, the university must allow for an increase in 5,000 students from last year’s levels by the 2016-17 academic year in order to receive an additional $25 million in funding. The budget plan affirms the university’s commitment to reaching this deadline and proposes additional enrollment growth of 2,500 during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, bringing the total increase to 10,000 students.

The $25 million provided by the state covers half the cost of educating additional California undergraduates, which UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said has been the traditional proportion the state has provided. The university will provide the other $25 million to accommodate these new students.

“The University of California is meeting the challenge of educating as many students as it possibly can to meet, and solve, the challenges of the future,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a press release. “We are committed to sustaining increased access to our campuses and the world-class education they offer.”

The enrollment will be spread throughout the nine campuses that offer undergraduate degrees. Every campus, Klein said, will see a rise in undergraduate enrollment.

To support this expanded enrollment resource-wise, the university is requesting an additional $6 million from the state to provide for 600 more graduate students.

According to Klein, it falls on the university to retain its educational quality, and she noted that ensuring graduate students are available to teach is one of the ways in which the university will accommodate the additional enrollment.

“It’s incumbent upon us to make sure we have the optimal number of graduate students not only to help with research but also to help teach our undergraduates,Klein said. “We’re not going to add students without resources to educate them.”

Although the plan generally seeks to accommodate more California residents, it also projects an additional increase in nonresident enrollment of 1,200 undergraduates. Out-of-state students’ supplemental tuition — with the 8 percent increase in tuition combined with projected enrollment growth — will bring $68.7 million in new revenue, the budget predicts. This, however, still reflects a decrease in the level of nonresident growth from the previous year.

Tuition increases tied to inflation will begin in the 2017-18 academic year, according to Klein. Keeping tuition flat indefinitely is not an option, as mandatory costs continue to rise, Klein said.

The board will meet Nov. 18-20 at UCSF Mission Bay.

Suhauna Hussain is the lead higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @suhaunah.