Following a ruling by the California Supreme Court on Thursday, the University of California, Berkeley was ordered to freeze its undergraduate enrollment at 2020-21 levels, which means the university will have to accept at least 3,000 fewer students than it had planned for the upcoming academic year.
After a lengthy court fight with a citizens organization known as Save Berkeley Neighborhoods, which accused the university of neglecting to address the impact of growing student enrolment on housing, homelessness, traffic congestion, and noise, the university reached its judgment on Thursday.
An official statement from the university said that they were “very dismayed” by the verdict, which upheld the initial complaint by the neighborhood organization while also rejecting the institution’s request to relax the enrollment restriction while it appealed the first case.
A statement from the institution stated, “This is heartbreaking news for the hundreds of students who have fought so hard to win a place in our fall 2022 class.” “Our struggle on behalf of each and every one of these youngsters will not be stopped.”
After hearing arguments from Berkeley residents, an Alameda County Superior Court ruled in their favor in August, ordering the suspension of a proposed faculty housing and classroom construction project as well as the restriction of enrollment to just over 42,000 students for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The institution issued letters to applicants informing them that it would be forced to reduce undergraduate enrolment by at least 3,000 students, causing potential students and their families to panic and flee the premises.
The University of California’s plea to suspend the enrollment block while the lawsuit is still pending was refused by an appeals court last month. California Gov. Gavin Newsom responded by filing a friend of the court brief, arguing that lawsuits should not “stand in the way of thousands of students’ education and dreams, who are our future leaders and innovators.” Newsom said in a statement that a lawsuit should not “stand in the way of thousands of students’ education and dreams, who are our future leaders and innovators.”
The university will be unable to provide an extra 3,050 seats for incoming first-year students and transfer students as planned for the autumn of 2022 as a result of freezing enrollment at the 2020-21 level. The institution will be capped at a student population of 42,347.
According to the university, if the extra students are not admitted, the institution would lose at least $57 million in tuition revenue.