This academic year, 70 students enrolled in BCS 100: Introduction to the Circumpolar World online, causing enrolments to close last month.
“BCS is popular because it focuses on the needs and issues of the North, and is written from a northern perspective,” says Dean of Undergraduate Studies Greg Poelzer. “There is a need for programs such as BCS as arctic issues become more important globally.”
BCS Enrolment Numbers On Target
Since 2002, there have been 1,300 course enrolments in online and on campus BCS core courses. The University of the Arctic’s goal is to have 1,000 student enrolments in BCS per year by 2010. The BCS office is on target to get those numbers, says Poelzer.
“As enrolment figures show, there is a strong growth in the demand for UArctic courses. We will be able to have more students over the next few years, as more institutions commit to teaching our courses.”
Enrolment figures have also increased across the board for all BCS programs. For the 2005-2006 academic year, a total of 134 students enrolled in BCS online courses. In comparison, 104 students were enrolled last year.
BCS Instructors Happy with Enrolment Growth
BCS instructors are not surprised with the popularity of the program. Amanda Graham has been teaching BCS 100 online since its pilot seven years ago.
“I’m very pleased by the astonishing growth in interest in the international online BCS courses and, especially, BCS 100,” says Graham, who works from Yukon College in Whitehorse, Canada. “I have a large group of Canadian and Russian students working together this semester, and I know they will learn a great deal from each other.”
This term, Graham has 40 students in her BCS-100 class: seven from Yukon College and 33 from Pomor State University in Russia. She says she encourages other students to take BCS classes.
“Even if they do not choose to pursue Circumpolar Studies, BCS 100, Introduction to the Circumpolar World is a marvellous opportunity to become familiar with this extraordinarily diverse region,” she says.
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