Policy on Admission to Degree Programs

Academic Affairs

Responsibility: Director of Enrolment Services
Authorization: University Council
Approval Date: May 1, 2012

Purpose

To establish the University of Saskatchewan’s position on admission of students to undergraduate and graduate degree programs, to clearly identify responsibilities under the policy and for the policy’s implementation, and to ensure relevant criteria and mechanisms are accessible.

Principles

One: Quality  The University of Saskatchewan will recruit and admit students locally, provincially, nationally and internationally who have demonstrated commitment to learning and  have the potential to successfully complete the academic requirements of the program.

Two: Equity Applicants for admission to the University of Saskatchewan can expect to be treated fairly and equitably and in accordance with published admission qualifications and selection criteria.

Three: Diversity  The University of Saskatchewan is committed to admitting a diverse body of students.

Four: Transparency The University of Saskatchewan admission practices will be based on published admission qualifications and selection criteria including the professional requirements of the program to which the applicant is seeking admission.

Five: Stewardship The University of Saskatchewan may manage enrolment in programs of study based on considerations of residency, capacity, space, resources, program quality, availability of faculty, and workforce needs, including the requirements of Saskatchewan communities.

Definitions

Admission qualifications: These are the credentials that an applicant must present in order to establish eligibility for admission.  They include but are not restricted to objective qualifications such as high school subjects, secondary or post-secondary standing, minimum averages, English proficiency, and minimum scores on standardized tests.  Qualifications may vary for some admission categories.

Selection criteria: These are the means by which a college assesses and ranks its applicants for admission. They include but are not restricted to admission test scores, cut-off averages, interview scores, departmental recommendations, auditions, portfolios, letters of reference, admission essays, definitions of essential abilities for professional practice, and the relative weighting to be given to the various requirements.  Selection criteria may vary for some admission categories.

Admission category:  A way to differentiate and compare applicants with similar qualifications (i.e. Regular Admission, Special Admission). 

Admission requirements:  These consist of all admission qualifications, selection criteria and administrative processes (such as completion of application form, payment of application fee, adhering to application deadlines) that an applicant must present or complete to be considered.

Authority

The University of Saskatchewan Act, 1995 gives University Council the responsibility to oversee and direct the university’s academic affairs, the power to prescribe academic and other qualifications for admission as a student, and the power to prescribe and limit the number of students who may be admitted to a college or a program of study. 

The Act also requires that a decision to change academic and other qualifications required for admission as a student, or a decision to change the number of students who may be admitted to a college or a program of study, are to be reported to Senate and are not to be implemented until either Senate confirms the decision or 12 months have passed following the end of the fiscal year in which the decision was made, whichever is the earlier. 

The Council and Senate delegate to each college faculty council the following authority:

1.  Colleges may make recommendations to University Council concerning the qualifications for admission to programs offered by that college or school.

2. Colleges may establish specific selection criteria for admission to programs administered by the college, subject to the general qualifications for admission to the university.

3.  Having received approval by Council and confirmation by Senate of a strategic enrolment plan, colleges will manage their admissions in accordance with that plan.

4. Colleges may make offers of admission on behalf of the university to the programs they administer based on approved admission qualifications and selection criteria. 

This delegation is made with the understanding that decisions taken by a college faculty council with respect to changes in selection criteria will be reported annually to Council through the Academic Programs Committee, and to Senate.

Scope

This policy provides a framework for new and existing university policies and practices concerning admission categories and types (such as Special (Mature) Admissions), definition of Saskatchewan residency, admissions qualifications and selection criteria (English proficiency (January, 2009), American high schools (January, 2009), and calculation of admission averages (April, 2004).

Policy

Admission Qualifications and Selection Criteria

Admission to the University of Saskatchewan is based on documented qualifications as established by University Council and confirmed by Senate. These qualifications may be defined in areas of objective qualifications such as high school subjects, secondary or post-secondary standing, minimum averages, English proficiency, and minimum scores on standardized tests.

The Council and Senate delegate to each college faculty council the authority to establish such other reasonable selection criteria as each faculty council may consider appropriate to its program of study.  Selection criteria are a means by which a college can assess or rank its qualified applicants.

Admission decisions for entry into the College of Graduate Studies and Research may also take into consideration the availability of suitable faculty supervisors, funding and other factors.

It is the responsibility of each college faculty council that has been delegated authority over admission decisions to ensure that the admission qualifications and selection criteria for admission, relative weighting, application procedures, deadline for applications, and the process for evaluation of applicants are published and readily available to the general public and reported annually to Council and to Senate.

Enrolment Management

Meeting admission qualifications and selection criteria does not guarantee admission to any college or program, if the number of qualified applicants exceeds the enrolment target. Each college faculty council may select the best qualified applicants from all the applicants according to their published admission qualifications and selection criteria.

Admission Decisions

The authority and responsibility for making admission decisions based on approved admission qualifications and selection criteria is delegated by Council to the college faculty council responsible for the program to which application is made. The college faculty council may further delegate this authority and responsibility to the admissions office of the University of Saskatchewan or to a school, or academic unit admissions office.

The college or university admissions office may consider for admission applicants who do not meet published admission qualifications but who, in the judgment of the admissions office, present equivalent or alternative admission qualifications.

No applicant will be excluded from admission to the university based on prohibited grounds as described in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.  

Each college faculty council may allocate spaces for a designated group as identified by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

Each college faculty council may allocate some or all of its spaces first to applicants defined as residents of Saskatchewan.  The definition of Saskatchewan resident for direct entry programs is the responsibility of the University of Saskatchewan Director of Enrolment Services and, for non-direct-entry and graduate programs, the responsibility of the college faculty council.

The University reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant on the basis of professional licensing requirements, if the applicant has been suspended or expelled from another postsecondary institution, or if the applicant poses a danger to university students, faculty, staff or property.

The University also reserves the right to offer conditional admission and may revoke admission if conditions are not fulfilled by the applicant.

An applicant who submits falsified or fraudulent documents for admission or who otherwise attempts to gain admission through dishonest means may be refused admission, either for the current program and academic year or for any future application to the university or any of its programs. Information concerning fraudulent applications may be shared with other post-secondary institutions. Should such an application be discovered after the applicant has been admitted and registered, the student will be subject to disciplinary action under the university’s regulations on academic misconduct.

Appeal of admission decisions

The unit with authority for the decision shall establish an admission appeals committee and process to review the case and to rule on an appropriate remedy.

Applicants who have not been successful in gaining admission may appeal the decision to the relevant appeals committee.

Grounds for an admission appeal shall be limited to (1) unit procedural errors, (2) evidence that the information used in the assessment of the decision was wrong or incomplete, or (3) evidence that the assessment was not made according to the published admission qualifications and selection criteria. A failure by the applicant to provide accurate and complete information in accordance with the established admission qualifications and selection criteria shall not be grounds for an appeal.

The decision of the appeals committee is final and no further appeal procedure will be entertained.

Accountability

College faculty councils and admissions offices, and the University of Saskatchewan admissions office are ultimately accountable to Council, through the Academic Programs Committee, for fulfilling requirements of this policy.  The Academic Programs Committee will review admission reports from colleges and schools, notify colleges of any concerns, and report to Council.

Appendices to be attached:

1.  Admission categories, admission qualifications, and selection criteria:  Admissions Report 2013-14

2.  Enrolment management report

Related Documents

There are no other documents associated with this policy.

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