Student numbers rise

Many optometry departments confirm a year-on-year rise in first year student enrolment numbers


The number of students enrolling on undergraduate optometry courses has risen year on year, OT can confirm.

Increasing first-year intake by 24, Plymouth University enrolled a total of 82 students in its optometry degree for the 2016–17 academic year, up from 58 in 2015–16.

Commenting on this rise, associate professor in optometry at the university, Dr Luisa Simo, told OT that the rise forms part of the long-term plans that the institution set when it launched its optometry degree in 2011. “Plymouth always had a target of 72 students,” Dr Simo said. “We started with half the number in order to roll out the programme comfortably ensuring quality. We have now increased gradually until we have reached our final target this year.”

Also increasing its intake is Aston University, which enrolled 163 students in its optometry course, up by 12 on the 150 students that it enrolled last year. Aston confirmed that of this cohort 67% were female and 33% male.

Anglia Ruskin University confirmed that it has increase the number of first year students that it enrolled, with numbers rising from 57 in 2015–16 to 65 in 2016–17. Admissions tutor for optometry, Dr Ebi Osuobeni, told OT that the department “ascribes this increase to the very high National Student Survey overall student satisfaction score for this course and the fact that we have 100% employment on completion.”

City University London has enrolled 118 students for the 2016–17 academic year, up from 109 in 2015–16, while the University of Manchester enrolled 100 new first years, the same as last year, senior lecturer Dr Will Holmes confirmed.

Having enrolled its first group of optometry students in 2015, the University of Hertfordshire confirmed that it had maintained its intake, with 49 students enrolling on the first year in September and 47 continuing in its second year.

Also remaining consistent, Ulster University optometry course director, Dr Arnold Cochrane, confirmed that the institution enrolled 38 first-year optometry students for the 2016–17 academic year. He explained: “While this is slightly above average, this offsets a slightly below average intake last year.

“Overall, across the programme our numbers have remained relatively consistent over the last several years.”

Glasgow Caledonian University confirmed that it enrolled 60 this academic year, but did not comment on last year’s numbers.

In addition, the University of Portsmouth enrolled its first cohort of students in its MOptom course welcoming 16 students to its first academic year.

Image credit: SUSchoolofEd