What's the Latest With Brampton's Upcoming University?

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It’s been established that a university is coming to Brampton, but there haven’t been many major developments in the past few weeks. Now, the city has released some details on where the project currently stands.

According to the city, the new university is envisioned as a hub for education, innovation and collaboration.

In terms of education, the campus will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM), alongside advanced technology and experiential learning. 

From an innovation standpoint, the university will aim to focus on entrepreneurship, business acceleration, and establishing a creative and innovative space. 

The vision also incorporates a need for collaboration within the institution, through research, advancing business sectors, and even building relationships in the public and private sectors, and in the community.

We have to think beyond the traditional,” said Michelle Mccollum, Senior Manager, Strategic Development, at a recent town hall meeting.

The city has already announced that the university will partner Ryerson University and Sheridan College. However, both institutions have confirmed that they will not be following the same joint structure as an institution like Guelph-Humber, wherein the programs are integrated between Guelph University and Humber College, and Guelph-Humber is a unique brand. 

Instead, both Ryerson and Sheridan will maintain their unique branding and identities, but share the space. 

How exactly this partnership will be structured in terms of programs and course offerings while each institution retains its brand remains to be seen, and both institutions are actively discussing the possible structure of their relationship.

According to Mccollum, Ryerson and Sheridan have the right mentality for what we need from a university in Brampton - forward-thinking.

Brampton is in the heart of the Innovation Supercorridor, after all.

We want to do something that hasn’t been done anywhere else in Ontario,” noted Mccollum. “We want people to point to Brampton and say that this is how post-secondary education should be done.”

Currently, city staff and community partners are engaged in discussions, including school boards, Brampton Library, the Region of Peel, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. 

The city is formally engaging with Ryerson and Sheridan to further discuss concrete plans for the university, such as a location that lends to the needs of the campus and simultaneously fits in well with the community.

There is also a lot of business outreach happening, such as identifying top employers and businesses for the university to partner with.

Basically, a lot of discussion is happening as part of the initial planning phases of the project.

The city will be having ongoing discussions with the province, Ryerson, and Sheridan, articulating the value of Brampton’s vision for the university, hiring an economic impact advisor, and doing outreach with focus groups and businesses. 

Mccollum stated that the province will want to move forward fairly quickly with the project, with the project likely starting in the 2020s. When the university opens, it is speculated to accommodate about 1,000 students and grow each year from there. 

More details will be available at the end of fall 2017.

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