April 27, 2007: Capilano pursues regional university designation

      Friday, April 27, 2007
      Contact: Shelley Kean
      Tel: 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) – The recent release of the Campus 2020 report contains some exciting recommendations for the future of post-secondary education in British Columbia. However it also includes some serious implications for the region currently served by Capilano’s three campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt.

      The report’s recommendation suggests creating three new regional universities to reinforce their mandates as teaching-intensive, regional learning institutions. However, the North Vancouver-Garibaldi region is left without a regional university (as defined within the report as a teaching intensive institution) to serve its needs. With formalized designation as a regional university, Capilano would be better positioned to build upon its regional, national and international reputation to meet the future learning needs of its changing communities.

      “Capilano is already filling the mandate for regional universities as outlined in the Campus 2020 report,” said Capilano’s president, Dr. Greg Lee. “Capilano is a teaching intensive institution that has been meeting the education needs of our communities since we first opened our doors in 1968. We’ve had nearly 1,000 degree graduates from a variety of programs.”

      Capilano has earned a strong reputation for teaching excellence, educational innovation and commitment to First Nations communities. Students have benefited from the degree programs offered for the past 15 years. These degree programs are now in jeopardy with a recommendation in the report to: “…restore the primary focus of community colleges by precluding colleges from granting degrees.”

      “While we are fully supportive of most of the Campus 2020 report, losing our ability to grant degrees would have dire consequences for our students’ future,” Lee explained. “Our students need to have the kind of industry responsive degrees that we offer.”

      A recent survey of current students showed an overwhelming number expressing their desire to complete their degree at Capilano. The College currently offers degrees in Business, Tourism, Jazz Studies and Music Therapy, and has eight more degree programs in preparation. These are being developed in response to employers and students who want degrees in such areas as working with autistic children, film production, early childhood education and paralegal studies.

      “In this day and age, many more students require a degree,” Lee said, adding, “Capilano’s degrees differ from traditional university degrees in that they provide clear employment outcomes for our students. Becoming a regional university will enable us to better serve all our communities in the years to come. It is of critical importance to the future learning needs of all communities within our region.”

      In addition to being a major learning, cultural and social centre, Capilano is a leading regional economic contributor with approximately 500 international students staying in and visiting its communities and surrounding areas annually. The institution is also the region’s third largest employer.

      “We estimate that our international programs generate approximately $20 million in annual economic activity,” said Lee, adding, “We remain committed to building upon our outstanding reputation as a provider of international education and to continuing to contribute to the economic growth of our communities.”

      The recommendations within the Campus 2020 report will be reviewed and discussed by government in the coming weeks and months. The complete 114-page report is posted at www.campus2020.ca.