St. Thomas University closing Miramichi campus due to low enrolment

St. Thomas University is closing its Miramichi campus because of low student enrollment, says communications director Jeffrey Carleton.

At its peak 115 students attended university and college classes in Miramichi

St. Thomas University is closing its Miramichi campus because of low student enrolment, says communications director Jeffrey Carleton.

The program started in 1994 as a partnership between the New Brunswick Community College, the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University and St. Thomas University as a way for students to complete their first year of university at home.

The program offered courses in liberal arts, science and business/commerce, but Carleton says numbers have been dropping steadily with only a handful of students enrolled for September.

"The decline was significant over the past three or four years and we had to face the reality that with just eight students there weren't enough to make it feasible for September." 

Carleton says at its peak in 2001, there were 115 students enrolled in the Miramichi program, 45 of them were full time.

Currently, there are 26 students in the program and Carleton says only 10 of them attend classes full time.

Mount Allison University pulled out of the program three years ago and UNB left in 2012. 

Carleton said he believes there are a number of reasons for the decline in the number of students, including the loss of the other university partners. 

"There's disappointment but the economics and feasibility of this were that we couldn't make it work on our own and when we lost our other partners, it made it a real challenge to continue as long as we did," he said. 

Carleton said there were eight students enrolled for September at the Miramichi campus and university officials have been in contact with all of them.

At least four of them are planning to attend St Thomas University in Fredericton this fall. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.