Message from the President: UHD’s Fall Student Count
Greetings UHD Faculty and Staff,
I would like to share with you the University of Houston-Downtown's preliminary student count for this academic year. In total, 15,081 students are enrolled at our campus, composed of 13,616 undergraduate and 1,465 graduate students.
These data show promise on a surface level. A deeper look into them, however, reveals there is still work for us to do.
Let's start with the positive news. This year marks the largest continuing student enrollment in UHD history. We again rank as the second-largest university in Houston and most diverse campus in the region. What's more, these numbers serve as a testament to the perseverance faculty and staff have demonstrated in pursuit of UHD's academic mission. We couldn't reach these numbers if it weren't for your working through the many, and sometimes sudden, adversities of these past few semesters to maintain the standard of quality associated with and expected from UHD.
In spite of these achievements, we are experiencing a dip from last year's total enrollment, with our graduate programs experiencing the most substantial shift. While our headcount reflects a modest reduction from the past year, our aggregate student credit hours show a loss as well. In other words, fewer students are enrolling, and they're taking fewer classes.
These numbers are perhaps influenced by the ongoing constraints of the pandemic, including changes to students' work structures, unexpected job searches, or simply needing to prioritize personal or medical demands.
Nonetheless, this trend reaffirms my call to faculty and staff. We must remain vigilant in supporting our students. As I mentioned in my message last month, student success is vital to our campus' sustainability and growth. Students who are active on campus and in class perform better academically and have the best chance at graduating on time.
Additionally, events like Week of Welcome, Gatorchella and Homecoming Week have proven critical to retaining and supporting students, especially to the most recent 1,313 first-time-in-college students and the 2,098 transfer students who are still familiarizing themselves with their new campus home. This is also why we must continue practicing excellence both in the classroom and in our supporting centers, offices and programs that make our students successful.
In doing so, we can increase student persistence, ensure timelier degree completion and more easily welcome future Gators into our student body.
Thank you for your commitment toward UHD's mission, and let's continue to make this semester a most productive one.
Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown