Plans to erect a private university in Prince Edward Island have been put on hold. The government had planned to introduce legislation that would permit institutions other than the University of Prince Edward Island grant to degrees. After opposition, including from outgoing UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan, who said similar experiences in other provinces has been closer to “fraud,” and a petition from the university’s alumni association with 1,300 signatures, the government postponed the new legislation.
Amendments to the Island’s Degree Granting Act were intended to pave the way for a new private university pitched by Halifax developer, Richard Homburg, that would focus on education and research in real estate.
On Friday, premier Robert Ghiz directed UPEI to work with Homburg to come to a solution to the impasse. “Today I am pleased to announce that government is committed to try to facilitate a discussion between Homburg and UPEI,” the premier said, as reported by the CBC.
UPEI released a statement praising the government’s change of plans. “The University of Prince Edward Island appreciates this decision and Premier Ghiz’s leadership in finding a path forward, together with the underlying affirmation of UPEI’s role and mandate as our provincial university,” the statement read.