Here's What We Know About the University Coming to Brampton

 

While Brampton is typically an exciting place, the city has recently been even more abuzz with news that its plans to welcome a university are moving forward.

The news, though exciting, hasn't come without some hiccups. In late 2016, Brampton council fretted over how the $180 million promised by the province to fund the project will be split between it and Milton (the other city poised to welcome a major academic institution). Council also wondered where the university would take shape and how much funding they would be responsible for.

Hiccups aside, the plan appears to be moving forward and the city says it's tightening its work plan as new details emerge.

Earlier this week, Deputy Premier, Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, spoke at a Brampton Board of Trade breakfast event and made it clear that Ontario is looking to support the creation of an entirely new approach to post-secondary education in Brampton.

According to the city, her remarks added more context to a staff update to Committee of Council on January 18 on work being done to further the development of a university in Brampton.

The city says discussions with provincial representatives, universities and Brampton businesses have revealed that all stakeholders are "looking for something beyond a traditional university campus."

All prospective partners are interested in a centre that combines education with innovation and collaboration - a facility Deputy Premier Matthews referred to as "something that we have never seen anywhere else in the world."

"We want to build some forward-looking partnerships to collaborate on the best university for Brampton," said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. "We also have an opportunity to look outside our borders, which provides us a great opportunity to build meaningful relationships with global institutions."

The province's Call for Expressions of Interest (meaning a call for a university to submit a proposal to establish a campus in Brampton) will be available on January 18 on the Province's website (www.ontario.ca). Matthews laid out a brief outline of the process that will result in the selection of a university proposal in the Fall of 2017.

With the release of the Call for Expressions of Interest, the Brampton's work plan will be further refined.

According to the city, the next steps include work to deepen Brampton's working relationship with the province, strengthen the city's position with interested institutions, and develop a partnership strategy that includes the business community, existing post-secondary institutions and international opportunities.

The province's plan is to create new postsecondary facilities focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics - skills important to current and future employers, and often grouped together under the acronym STEAM.

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