Thompson Rivers University is expecting about three per cent more students to walk through its doors when classes begin Sept. 4.
The growth is almost entirely due to another double-digit increase in international students. Numbers of students from other countries, including China, are expected to grow 19 per cent to more than 1,000 students.
The university's associate vice-president academic, Katherine Sutherland, said Thursday the numbers are positive, particularly because there are fewer students graduating from Grade 12 each year in the region.
The number of applications to the university is on par with last year, while registrations that include international students are up by three per cent.
"Because we have declining numbers demographically, it's good news," Sutherland said. "It suggests we may be getting more students from outside the region."
An uncertain provincial and global economy are also likely putting more students in seats.
Sutherland said the fastest growing universities in B.C. are located near Surrey and Fraser Valley - B.C.'s fastest-growing communities.
The university is expecting more than 5,700 full-time equivalent students. Because many students attend part-time, in reality 9,000 to 10,000 people will be on campus in September.
To prepare for them the university is now rebuilding areas of its Old Main complex damaged by a flash rain last month. The rainstorm came as construction was underway on addition of 1.5 floors to accommodate the new law school.
University spokesman Christopher Seguin said a dozen classrooms and offices were damaged. Restoration work includes ceilings, walls and carpeting. Damages were insured.
"It's ongoing and we're hoping to reopen in time for school."
TRU will open its doors to students two days before classes actually begin in its annual September "jump start."
Sutherland said on the Sunday and Monday services will include registration, tours, student counselling, cashier and student aid office. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept 2 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Labour Day.