FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596
(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) – Capilano University students and prospective students worldwide will reap the benefits of a new Education Quality Assurance designation announced Tuesday by British Columbia’s Advanced Education Minister Moira Stilwell.
The first education brand or seal of quality in Canada, the EQA trademark will be used globally to promote reputable B.C. post-secondary institutions. The EQA is a voluntary designation available to public and private post-secondary institutions that wish to apply.
“Capilano University has long recognized the importance of quality assurance,” said president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Greg Lee, adding, “and we applaud the government’s move in helping us to protect the excellent reputation that we have worked so hard over the past 40 years to achieve. It is an initial start on the establishment of a recognized accreditation system such as those found in most developed countries of the world.”
With the lack of a national education accreditation body or quality control system, the EQA designation is unique in Canada in having a government back the reputation and quality of post secondary institutions. It will provide students and prospective students with better information to make informed decisions about where they study, and promote the province as an education destination of choice.
“This new designation will become an additional mark of assurance about the quality of Capilano’s programs and services and will open further doors to international activity and opportunities” Lee added. “We certainly intend to pursue the designation, which came about through the strong partnership and collaboration between the provincial government and the post secondary education sector in B.C.”
The BC Council for International Education (BCCIE), an independent society, will administer the EQA designation on behalf of the government. It will provide international marketing and promotion of EQA designated institutions and encourage joint programming and other partnerships between B.C. post secondary institutions and those in other countries.
“We also participate in a thorough degree quality assessment program through B.C.’s Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB),” Lee said. “This procedure assesses new degree proposals from public and private institutions to ensure quality, but it does not function as an accrediting agency.”
Because Canada does not have an accreditation process to assure quality in post-secondary institutions at a nationwide level, Capilano University has been working towards accreditation with the American-based Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. This lengthy and in-depth process has been taking place over several years and in January 2008, the institution was granted candidacy for accreditation and membership.
“Capilano University is the first Canadian institution to become an applicant in the NWCCU and joins a community of higher educational institutions that share similar academic qualifications and quality in a very competitive arena,” said NWCCU president, Dr. Sandra Elman.
As it works through the process, the teaching-focused university is acquiring greater understanding of its roles and goals, with an internationally recognized accreditation body assuring compliance with defined standards. The university hopes to receive initial accreditation by 2012.
B.C. is one of the top destinations for international students in Canada, and attracts more on a per-capita basis than Ontario. It is estimated that British Columbia’s public and private education sector educational institutions host approximately 150,000 international students a year. Currently, 607 international students from 45 countries are studying in 42 programs at Capilano. International students may select from any of our programs for which they are qualified.
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university that serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,700 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university-level arts and science courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.
For more information on EQA, go to www.bceqa.ca.