Enrollment at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is growing faster than all other comprehensive state-supported health-related institutions in the state, according to recent figures from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The Coordinating Board compiles full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment figures from the various institutions and provides them to the legislature each biennium to use in setting the Instructions and Operations funding for the schools, which is based on enrollment figures. The base periods for the comparison were for the budgets for fiscal years 2002-2003 and 2004-2005.
“We’ve been setting enrollment records each semester for some time now, but we weren’t aware that we were growing faster than everyone else,” said Ronald Blanck, DO, UNTHSC president. “Most of our growth comes from those programs formed since we became a comprehensive health science center in 1993.”
UNTHSC is completing a six-story building on its campus for the growing number of students enrolled in its biomedical sciences and public health graduate programs. It’s using state and federal funding, combined with private gifts from foundations, corporations and individuals to complete the new Center for Biotechnology and Public Health by May.
In the past two years, total enrollment at UNTHSC grew 36 percent, from 744 FTE students to 1,014 FTE students. The average growth for all health-related institutions was 11 percent.
UNTHSC’s medical school grew five percent in its enrollment in that time frame. The average for state medical schools was one percent growth.
In the biomedical sciences, UNTHSC grew 56 percent, from 129 FTE students to 201.7 FTE students. The state average was 20 percent.
Enrollment in UNTHSC’s School of Public Health grew 118 percent, while the state average was 24 percent.
The allied health programs at the health-related institutions averaged enrollment growth of 20 percent. UNTHSC’s physician assistant program grew 97 percent, from 76 to 149 FTE students.
The data for FY 2004-2005 were not used by the 78th Texas Legislature in the final version of the budget.
Other health-related institutions with higher education degree programs are UT Southwestern, UT Medical Branch Galveston, UTHSC/Houston, UTHSC/San Antonio, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and M.D. Anderson.
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