I think there’s an interesting post-secondary education story in Brantford Ontario. The city, known as The Telephone City, is located 93km west and has a population of around 90,000. The city is not a suburb of Toronto and is poorly linked by public transit to Toronto.
The city does not have its own hometown post-secondary institution. Instead, the city has satellite campuses for three different out-of-town institutions.
Hamilton, where I live, is about 30km from Brantford. I am familiar with the city due to this proximity.
Brantford was hit hard by the last recession and it’s downtown was an eyesore I never thought the city would mend. During the past couple years, this has changed to a degree. I’ve read of the positive effects of Nipissing and Laurier’s satellite campuses. I recently visited the campuses and was impressed.
Nipissing’s campus offers Education degrees. Laurier offers a couple of liberal art degrees and is enjoying a large jump in applications this year.There is talk of an expansion of Mohawk College’s Brantford campus that could involve a move into Brantford’s downtown campus.
If Brantford continues to grow its post-secondary campuses, it is only a matter of time before Brantford becomes known as an education city. (If they get GO Transit service, these campuses could easily burst with GTA commuter students looking for a smaller undergraduate feel)
There are lessons in Brantford for both cities looking to invest in urban renewal and large urban universities which presently overcrowd their campuses.