Laurier’s proposal to establish a university presence in the Town of Milton has reached a significant milestone with endorsement from the university Senate and Board of Governors. The university has now submitted its final proposal to the provincial government, with a government decision expected in late fall.
“The endorsement by our governing bodies affirms Laurier’s proven ability to offer high-quality academic programming under our multi-campus model, while maintaining the intimate sense of community and exceptional student experience that is at the core of both our Waterloo and Brantford campuses,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy.
The Senate in September approved the Milton Academic Plan in principle as the basis for future academic programming at the proposed Laurier site. Also in September, Laurier’s Board of Governors approved the university submitting stage two of its proposal to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
In October 2016, the province announced that Milton and Brampton had been selected as the two host communities for its Major Capacity Expansion (MCE) project to establish a university presence in under-serviced, high-growth areas in Halton and Peel. The province has earmarked $180 million in total capital funding to be shared between the two sites for the initiative.
The province’s academic requirements for its MCE project include a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), growth to 1,000 undergraduate students by year five, an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities and college, industry, business and municipal partnerships.
Laurier’s plan leverages existing undergraduate programs and proposes new academic programs for the Milton site, which is situated near the Mattamy National Cycling Centre.
“The academic offerings included in our proposal complement, rather than compete with, our existing academic offerings,” said Paul Jessop, acting vice-president: academic. “They are strategic and relevant programs that will be attractive to potential students and will be transformative for the university.”
Efforts to develop a university in Milton have been underway since 2008, when the Town of Milton and Laurier first entered into a partnership agreement.