In May 2020, Yukon College officially became Yukon University—the first university in the Canadian territories. YukonU uses its location to its advantage, applying northern expertise to examine and solve issues pertaining to the North. Encompassing 13 campuses, YukonU offers six undergraduate degree programs and two master’s programs. Students can study arts, science, business, education and social work, including the first made-in-the-Yukon degree: a bachelor of arts in Indigenous governance, developed in collaboration with 14 Yukon First Nations. YukonU also participates in north2north, a mobility program offered through the University of the Arctic, whose member institutions are involved in education and research in and about the North.
“As Canada’s only university north of 60, we invite students from across the country to come learn from our experts and directly ground yourself in Canada’s North,” says president Lesley Brown. “Our programs address key challenges facing the North and provide experiences that reflect the reality of living and working where 11 of the 14 Yukon First Nations have negotiated modern treaties. Students have the opportunity to learn alongside exceptional instructors across a number of programs, as well as research chairs in Indigenous Knowledge, mine remediation, energy innovation and permafrost and geoscience.”
As a hybrid institution, YukonU will continue to offer certificates, diplomas, university preparation, skilled trades training and applied research opportunities along with its degree programs. Its Yukon Research Centre, equipped with a lab that features a growth chamber and an atomic absorption spectrometer, conducts research in mine reclamation, cold climate construction, climate change, community health and economic diversification.
The school’s main Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Yukon River valley, offers single and apartment-style residences. Tuition (including mandatory fees) for an undergraduate program costs $5,170.