April 29, 2008: Legislation paves way for new universities in B.C.

      For Immediate Release
      April 29, 2008
      Ministry of Advanced Education

      VICTORIA - Changes to the University Act introduced today will allow the Province to create new universities that will give students greater access to university degree programs, Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell has announced.

      "These amendments to the University Act are the next step in fulfilling our throne speech commitment to expand B.C.'s public university system by creating five new universities, which will promote teaching excellence," Coell said. "At the same time we are acting on the Campus 2020 report, which recommended the creation of regional universities."

      Government has announced three university-colleges, one community college and a provincial institute will become special-purpose teaching universities.

      Under the proposed legislation, the mandates for each institution will be designated, which will include the types of programs they will offer and the region they will serve. The University of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver Island University and Capilano University will be regional universities, and will continue to offer a broad range of developmental, trade, career, technical and academic programs leading to certificates, diplomas, and baccalaureate and master's degrees.

      The Emily Carr University of Art and Design will serve all of B.C., providing applied and professional programs leading to baccalaureate and master's degrees.

      "University designation will create new opportunities for higher learning, while allowing these institutions to market themselves more effectively across Canada and around the world," Coell said. "The changes will also provide new clarity of purpose within our post-secondary system, while recognizing the excellent reputation these institutions have earned for providing high quality degree programs."

      As recommended in the Campus 2020 report, the designation "university college" will be repealed. A senate will be established for each university, with the same composition and powers as the university council of Thompson Rivers University, which became a university in 2005. TRU's university council will be formally renamed as a senate.


      Media contact:
      Linda O'Connor
      Communications Manager
      Ministry of Advanced Education
      250 952-6400
      250 812-4418 (cell)