Rocky start for Quest University

One of Canada’s newest private universities, perhaps the most ambitious of the bunch, has experienced a few challenges since opening its doors in Squamish, British Columbia, last year. Financed with $100 million in private funding, Quest University Canada was designed to accommodate about 800 students, however, in its first year only 75 students enrolled. This fall, the university’s overall student enrollment has increased to about 150.

Modeled along the lines of elite degree-granting institutions in the United States, tuition at Quest University is $24,500 per year. The annual $8,000 fee for room and board brings the total cost to $32,500/year, which is on par with many private universities in the US.

This Vancouver Sun article reviews the university’s recent challenges:

Faced with sluggish enrolments, Quest University in Squamish announced a surprising alliance in August with an education-management firm that owns Sprott-Shaw Community College and said the two institutions would temporarily share Sprott-Shaw president Dean Duperron.

The deal with Western Canada’s largest private community college and its owner CIBT Education Group was an odd fit. Sprott-Shaw prides itself on job training while Quest — Canada’s first secular, private non-profit university — promises students “an academic journey . . . in the pursuit of knowledge and global understanding.”

There were rumblings among Quest students, faculty and staff about whether a private, for-profit company could work with a non-profit university and concerns that Quest’s “intimate, integrated and international liberal-arts education” vision was at risk.

Within a month, the deal was dead, and students breathed a sigh of relief.




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Rocky start for Quest University

  1. That’s great that you noted Quest was on par with many universities in the United States.
    What was not mentioned was as least the other universities have a history, credibility and reputations. ie Princeton and Harvard.
    Heck we could have sent our kids there instead for the money we’ve put out for Quest University. And they wouldn’t be asked to cut the lawns of the campus and vacuum the interiors of buildings.
    At least we know they’d have something to show for it; academically that is.
    There’s a chance that Quest will go bankrupt. Then what will happen?
    Perhaps you could do a story on that perspective please.
    Thank you.

  2. Jo’s comment might give part of the explanation for the low enrollment at Quest. The very small minority of people who not only can afford this price (through their family’s wealth or a scholarship) and think it’s worth it (for the small class sizes or whatever other reason) would probably prefer to go to Harvard and the like.

  3. I’m a student at Quest. I’m on a scholarship that’s makes it just a little more expensive to go here than it would be to go to ubc. I think I’m closer to being the rule than the exception here at Quest.

    Anyways, I just thought I’d say that I think my experience here has been amazing and I’m really excited to be part of creating the “history, credibility and reputation” of Quest.

    And I haven’t been asked to vacuum or cut lawns, but I’d be happy to do so.

  4. I lasted exactly 2 months at Quest. I can understand why those who love it do, however it just wasn’t for me.
    On a side note, the people, the location and the general enivironment of the school is all spectacular.

  5. I am a student at Quest and I do not come from a wealth background. I am paying for my own schooling through scholarships and a lot of hard summer work, but the education that Quest provides is worth every bit of work I put into it. I highly suggest anyone that is remotely interested in Quest to come check it out. Come be a part of writing the reputation of a new university (how many people can claim to have done that?).

  6. I am currently leaving quest and I just wanted to say I could not be happier with my decision. Quest Universities academic office takes forever to complete anything and never answer emails. the Quest experience is full of people that are shall i say one minded thinkers….On an athletic point of view, don’t go to quest if you want to excel in your desired sport. I hope I helped anyone who is close to making this mistake..

  7. hey Dustin no one cares!!!

  8. As a mature Quest student I can say that in regards to academic rigor, Quest surpasses any other a post-secondary institution I have attended, and I have attended other ‘prestigious’ universities. Quest offers a lot to those who wish to take advantage of it. In regards to the first two comments, whoever is behind them seems very disconnected with the reality of quest and the quality of instruction provided.

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