B.C. universities collaborate to construct new Vancouver Island campus

The West Shore post-secondary campus planned for Langford, B.C., as a collaboration between the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and Camosun College is visualized in a rendering.
The West Shore campus deliberate for Langford, B.C., as a collaboration between three Vancouver Island post-secondary faculties will open September 2024 to serve college students residing extra remotely in Better Victoria. [Image by BoForm and provided by hcma]

The College of Victoria (UVic) is teaming up with Royal Roads College (RRU) and Camosun Faculty to construct a collaborative college campus on Vancouver Island in Langford, B.C.

A $98-million undertaking, a five-storey timber facility, will accommodate as much as 1,300 college students in Better Victoria’s West Shore—one among Canada’s quickest rising areas—who would in any other case take lengthy and infrequently troublesome commutes to entry their post-secondary schooling.

“I bicycle from downtown Victoria to Royal Roads and that’s 15 kilometres with huge hills,” Richard Kool, an RRU College of Surroundings and Sustainability professor and RRU School Affiliation president, mentioned.

“We don’t have many huge highways right here, so there’s lots of people travelling on two-lane roads to get into town. Morning visitors is absolutely unhealthy. Buses go gradual, vehicles go gradual.”

Kool defined accessing Better Victoria communities positioned farther west, the place the roads change into windy, already makes for a protracted journey.

RRU’s president and vice-chancellor, Philip Steenkamp, mentioned highschool graduates from West Shore communities take part much less in post-secondary schooling round Better Victoria than those that reside within the extra centralized Metropolis of Victoria.

“The participation charge in post-secondary schooling out right here is [also] decrease than the provincial common,” Steenkamp added.

He famous the speed of individuals within the West Shore who instantly pursue post-secondary research after highschool falls at the least 10 per cent decrease than the provincial common of 53 per cent. Total, West Shore highschool graduates are half as more likely to attend post-secondary schooling as common B.C. highschool graduates.

“What we don’t wish to see is college students on the highways, driving their autos. We wish to have the ability to see individuals get schooling within the locations they reside.”

“It’s really an environmental concern for us,” mentioned Geoff Wilmshurst, vice-president of Camosun’s Partnerships division. “What we don’t wish to see is college students on the highways, driving their autos. We wish to have the ability to see individuals get schooling within the locations they reside.”

To start out constructing the campus, UVic, RRU and Camosun needed to submit a enterprise proposal to the provincial authorities. Steenkamp described the method as involving “lots of Zoom conferences” with Coast Salish peoples residing within the undertaking space, in addition to conferences with architects and municipal and provincial authorities officers to current their proposal and talk about blueprints.

The three establishments obtained $1.5 million in provincial funding for planning the undertaking and on Aug. 2 obtained full permission to assemble the campus. The provincial authorities contributed $77.8 million for campus development, whereas RRU pitched in $18.5 million to buy the land.

From the Metropolis of Langford, the establishments have one other $30 million in funding and a dedication to offering $375,000 over 5 years for highschool graduates wishing to attend the campus. Based on Langford Mayor Stew Younger, this brings the overall worth of the undertaking to $125 million.

“That’s the only largest funding in [the span of] Langford’s historical past that we have now to this point, and it’s [in] schooling,” Younger mentioned at an announcement for the campus this summer season. “That may be very becoming as a result of everyone mentioned right here [that education] is a extremely essential a part of all of our communities within the West Shore.”

Steenkamp mentioned RRU, because the property proprietor, will take cost of managing the campus. UVic and Camosun, together with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) within the Decrease Mainland, will supply further applications on the campus and function as tenants.

“We even have the native college district, which is [School District 62], which additionally desires to supply some programming there,” Steenkamp mentioned. “I believe over time we’ll invite different establishments who is perhaps .”

He mentioned that although UVic, RRU and Camosun are relying partly on the province’s job information to find out the applications they provide on campus, the pursuits of potential college students within the space can even play an element in figuring out what they educate. Steenkamp added they did lots of survey work previous to submitting the proposal.

“We [the institutions] surveyed communities, households out right here, together with the scholars,” he mentioned. “We went into the excessive faculties to speak to college students. We spoke to highschool counselors … about what they have been listening to from college students. We did a collection of what we name ‘pop-up universities,’ simply to check the market a bit of simply to see what the scholars have been thinking about.”

Wilmshurst famous essentially the most in-demand sectors for studying are well being care, early childhood care and know-how. Based on a B.C. authorities launch, UVic will supply laptop science, engineering and humanities programs, Camosun will present instructional and health-care assistant coaching and JIBC will provide paramedic and first-responder coaching.

“I believe [the West Shore campus] will develop alternatives for individuals and maybe open up a local weather of higher collaboration for the establishments concerned.”

Kool mentioned in relation to fostering the social ambiance of the campus, similar to with golf equipment and societies, he hopes college students can develop these sub-organizations on their very own as one physique, fairly than three.

“I believe [the West Shore campus] will develop alternatives for individuals and maybe open up a local weather of higher collaboration for the establishments concerned,” he mentioned in an e-mail. “It would even appeal to college students from elsewhere to reside right here.”

Development of the campus is scheduled to start someday this September. The campus is anticipated to formally open Sept. 1, 2024, and instantly serve roughly 600 college students.

In an earlier model of this text, Richard Kool was recognized as RRU’s school of social and utilized sciences president, fairly than school affiliation president. Possession of the campus was additionally incorrectly acknowledged as being shared by UVic, RRU and Camosun, fairly than solely possessed by RRU. The Charlatan regrets the errors.

Featured picture by BoForm and offered by hcma.

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