Questions & Answers
- What is a polytechnic university?
- When do we officially become a University?
- How does university status benefit students?
- What is the future vision for Kwantlen Polytechnic University?
- Are there other polytechnic universities in the world?
- Why aren't we a regional university like others?
- What, exactly, will change?
- Will access to Kwantlen be affected by a change in status?
- Will trades, vocational and developmental programs continue as part of the university?
- Will tuition fees increase as a university?
- Will research and scholarly activity be affected?
- Will Kwantlen be getting more funding from government?
- Will university status affect the level at which our athletes compete?
- What about our logo, stationery, business cards, brochures, etc?
What is a polytechnic university?
A polytechnic university is a post secondary institution that is a full member of the university sector. That means it is governed by university legislation, which typically includes institutional authority to grant degrees, a mandate for research and scholarship, and more autonomous governance than exists for other sectors (colleges / institutes). A polytechnic university combines the program focus of a traditional university with innovative interdisciplinary programs that build upon a strong arts and science core. The overall program mix typically includes business, arts and science, design, engineering, health studies, journalism, education, media studies, visual and performing arts, as well as trades and qualifying studies programs. In contrast, institutes generally lack this university 'core' and offer programs in fewer applied areas of study.
When do we officially become a University?
Amendments to the University Act have been passed. Kwantlen will likely formally change its name in September after coming being officially designated through regulation by the Lieutenant Governor. Initially we will need to review institutional-wide governance processes as first steps in transition.
How does university status benefit students?
Among other direct and indirect benefits, students will benefit through increased access to a broad range of programs and university degrees all available at one university situated in their communities, increased access to research opportunities, and increased access over time to graduate programs.
- be accessible to everyone with the desire and ability to learn…and willingness to work hard.
- focus on meeting diverse education needs—including trades, developmental, career and academic programs.
- integrate its programs with full degrees designed to prepare people to serve their professions, the region, the country and the globe.
- enhance its core liberal arts and science offerings as well as a polytechnic program mix encompassing theory, critical insight and practice.
- expand its research and scholarship agenda by engaging students and faculty in innovation and in the application of knowledge, including enhancing excellence in teaching and learning.
- retain its dedication to developing educated, engaged citizens.
Are there other polytechnic universities in the world?
Yes, there are many very well-known and prestigious polytechnic universities in Canada, the US and worldwide, including the following. Click on the links below to learn more about a few of these universities.
- Ryerson University (Toronto)
- California State Polytechnic Universities (San Luis Obispo and Pomona)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
- Middlesex University (UK)
- University of Greenwich ( UK)
- University of Plymouth (UK)
- University of Limerick (Republic of Ireland)
- Dublin Institute of Technology (Republic of Ireland)
- Royal Melbourne Institute (Australia)
- Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)
Why aren't we a regional university like others?
It is significant that Kwantlen’s name does not identify us as a university with only a 'regional' mandate because of our unique geographical location in the heart of multiple public post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland as well as the fact that Western Canada has no such university that incorporates a polytechnic program mix along with traditional university and access programming. In fact, the Premier was clear that Kwantlen's university mandate is to serve the region, the province, the country and the globe.
What, exactly, will change?
Kwantlen has been offering a wide range of degree programs for several years already and will maintain its commitment to offering a wide-range of programs and services. The change to university status will not directly impact most day-to-day operations in the near future, but faculty will have the opportunity to participate more directly in institutional governance as we move toward a university senate model. Another important change will be in the public perception of us not only as a full-status university but also as a new kind of university known to widen access opportunities and to enhance university participation by a more diverse spectrum of society.
Will access to Kwantlen be affected by a change in status?
Since inception in 1981 Kwantlen's practice has been to offer access to everyone with the desire and the ability to learn ... and the willingness to work hard. As a university, Kwantlen will continue this practice by offering 'bridging' opportunities between many of our citation, certificate and diploma programs into our degree programs, and providing a program mix which encompasses theory and practice.
Will trades, vocational and developmental programs continue as part of the university?
Yes. Kwantlen University will continue its commitment to trades, vocational training, and to developmental and university qualifying studies. In fact, ‘polytechnic’ is a descriptor for a university that offers these programs in addition to a strong arts and science core. Our high-tech trades and technology campus in Cloverdale is a key part of Kwantlen and will remain so. We will continue to build on bridging developmental, trades and vocational programs into bachelor's degrees – as this is one of Kwantlen’s distinct innovations and a source of competitive advantage.
Will research and scholarly activity be affected?
As a result of university status, Kwantlen faculty will be better positioned to compete for research grants. As a university with a polytechnic mandate, we are well positioned to take advantage of the well-established shift toward "relevance" in research funded by the major granting councils and to build on established research partnerships with industry and community organizations. Both our history and our new mandate will contribute to our competitiveness in this arena.
Will Kwantlen be getting more funding from government?
There is no promise of new funding from government, but Kwantlen will review all opportunities to secure additional funding to serve its students and its broader communities as best we can. Under its new university status Kwantlen will also pursue emerging program and research initiatives that the provincial and federal governments may choose to support. The new status also provides an enhanced ability to generate increased revenues through domestic and international student recruitment, fundraising, and research grant acquisition.
Will university status affect the level at which Kwantlen athletes compete?
Kwantlen can choose to apply to compete at a variety of intercollegiate levels. Over time, Kwantlen’s Athletics Department will review options to determine which level meets its needs the best.
What about our logo, stationery, business cards, brochures, etc?
Kwantlen's Marketing and Communications Department is developing a transition plan. This plan will be implemented after the revised University Act legislation is passed and once a timeline for the official shift to university status is confirmed.
More Q&As will be added to this list on an ongoing basis.