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RRU growth plan featured on front page of Times Colonist

Royal Roads University plans to add new programs and hire 30 more staff this year, even as other post-secondary schools struggle to eliminate deficits by cutting employees and reducing services.

The board of governors recently approved a budget that foresees a 12 per cent rise in enrolment of full-time domestic students in 2013-14, a seven per cent increase in faculty and staff and a $1.7-million investment in new programs.

The ambitious plans follow three years of sustained growth during which the number of full-time domestic students rose by 22 per cent to 2,500, the board says.

President Allan Cahoon said in an interview that Royal Roads faces the same government funding cuts as other colleges and universities. But the school, founded in 1995, benefits from a different academic, business and governance model that allows it to boost revenue by responding quickly to market demands for new courses, he said.

Targeted primarily at mid-career professionals, Royal Roads gets less money from the government than other schools, but can charge higher tuition. It delivers about 75 per cent of its courses through a “blended learning” model. Students, most of whom are pursuing graduate degrees, spend a couple of weeks on campus before heading back to their jobs and completing the course work online.

“It’s an efficient way of generating education and minimizing the costs of your delivery,” Cahoon said.

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