On B.C.'s five new universities - Macleans.ca

On B.C.’s five new universities

Will eastern schools accept graduates from new unis into graduate studies?


Last spring the government of British Columbia passed legislation that gave ‘university status’ to 5 former colleges and institutes (Capilano College, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Kwantlen University College, Malaspina University College, and University College of the Fraser Valley). While the change did not involve additional funding for research and facilities, the new legislation made a number of changes to the way the institutions are governed.Vancouver’s Georgia Straight has published an article about the changes which includes insight from John Dennison, a noted scholar of Canadian post-secondary education. From the Straight article:

John Dennison, a retired UBC professor and coauthor of Canada’s Community Colleges: A Critical Analysis (UBC Press, 1986), has watched B.C.’s postsecondary system evolve for half a century . . . Dennison isn’t sold on the idea that a single institution should deliver everything from adult basic education to graduate degrees, if only because the “conservative” eastern universities won’t take graduates from these institutions seriously.In 2007, for example, a total of just 12 graduates from the five B.C. institutions that are now universities went on to master’s programs at UBC. At the University of Western Ontario—the only major central Canadian university to respond to the Straight’s request for information—no students from any of the new universities have ever been admitted. But Dennison believes credibility for the “new” system will come.

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On B.C.’s five new universities

  1. If I remember correctly, the report (by former BC AG Geoff Plant) that ultimately lead to the changes that happened actually referenced to the University Colleges as being ‘Regional Universities.’

    I for one, would have been fine if they had called the five new universities as follows – “Capillano Regional University,” “Fraser Valley Regional University,” “Kwantlen Regional University,” “Vancouver Island Regional University” and while they were at it they could have easily re-branded the new “Thomspon Rivers University” as “Thompson Rivers Regional University.” It would have helped distinguish them from the traditional Universities for people living within the province and within Canada while still bringing them closer to a traditional universities, so that they have a bit more prestige than a college, which is often viewed negatively. Real people who succeed go to a university – losers go to college.

    Also, I believe all of the University Colleges except Kwantlen were members of the de-facto Canadian accreditation body, AUCC. AUCC membership allowed the University Colleges access to grants and made it easier for undergraduates from these institutions to transfer into graduate studies.

  2. “Real people who succeed go to a university – losers go to college.”

    You can’t change a stigma by calling it something else. At very best all you can hope for is to muddy the waters for a short time before people start saying, “losers go to a regional university.” If this change was only meant to address the stigma – with no injection of money or resources, note – then it’s a very poor approach.

    That isn’t to attack your point, because it’s very possible that was the reason (and it’s just the reason sucks) but if you want to make college a valid and approved educational choice then you need to engage in more than a flimsy rebranding exercise. They need to be resourced properly, given an appropriate role in the whole structure of education, and (critically) the public needs to be properly educated about what colleges actually do and their merits. Calling them something else is actually counter-productive there. The “muddy the waters” strat may produce short-term gains by confusing everyone, but it prevents long-term improvement to the root problem. Really, a bad move all around.

  3. “Real people who succeed go to a university – losers go to college.”

    How stupid is this comment… What is your definition of success… This differs from person to person and organization to organization… This is a totally ignorant comment and whoever mentioned most likely has no personal life skills at all.

    I know alot more succesful and happy college graduates and I know alot of unhappy university grads…

    Whoever said this get a life!

  4. The University of British Columbia
    Emily Carr University of Art and Design
    University of the Fraser Valley
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University
    University of Northern British Columbia
    Royal Roads University
    Simon Fraser University
    Thompson Rivers University
    Trinity Western University
    Vancouver Island University
    University of Victoria

    Official listing of AUCC!

    “Real people who succeed go to a university – losers go to college.” <- loser

  5. I wouldn’t classify Kwantlen as a university. That Langley Campus is full of losers can’t see past their high school fantasy land since they skip class to get high. Besides! Real universities are built on mountains, not some remote farmland that reeks of a cow’s ass.

  6. I’ve been in Kwantlen for about a year now it’s a nice school with a lot of improvements over the past year. As for the last poster about mountains, not many universities are built on mountains. Also insults just shows how stupid you are, get a life!