Lawmakers want to know why UH enrollment is on the decline
The University of Hawaii is continuing to face a decline in enrollment. Now, state lawmakers are questioning why.
HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii is continuing to face a decline in enrollment. Now, state lawmakers are questioning why.
Enrollment at UH's three campuses fell more than 14 percent since 2012. UH's community colleges are also down 18 percent during that same period.
On Wednesday, lawmakers called on community college chancellors for an explanation. UH President David Lassner says the decline is partially a result of the system's success -- graduating more students faster.
"It's a consequence of our success in educating students and we have been increasing our 4-year grad rates, our 6-year grad rates and that's one of the factors that contributes to declining enrollment," said Lassner.
"Different states have different models about how to address enrollment and we'd like them to model some of the initiatives out there," said Sen. Kai Kahele.
Kahele pointed out that fewer students enrolled means fewer tuition dollars for UH and more budget requests to the legislature. UH says it's currently in the developmental stage of a management plan.
Lassner says this issue isn't unique to UH. He says schools across the country deal with the same problem due to low unemployment numbers causing potential students to choose jobs over school.
Despite a decline in enrollment, UH's current numbers are still higher than they were before the 2008 recession.