Today, Lakehead University, in partnership with Georgian University Partnership Centre, submitted its proposal for major capacity expansion to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).
The joint proposal was developed in response to a call from the Province of Ontario to institutions to increase degree capacity in areas of the province with growing demand for post-secondary education.
As part of the Lakehead-Georgian plan for major capacity expansion, Lakehead University and Georgian College – already the two largest postsecondary institutions in Simcoe County – will deliver more than 50 degree programs to as many as 6,000 students by 2030.
“Our plan combines the best of college and university education,” says Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson. “We are confident our proposal will rise to the top among the many submissions from throughout the province.
We are offering innovative solutions for meeting the needs of students, while being fiscally responsible and student centred.”
The Lakehead-Georgian proposal will leverage existing infrastructure and resources, including established campus facilities, services, faculty and staff. The initial phase of the plan would maximize the use of existing space to add 2,000 new degree students – 1,200 at Georgian’s Barrie Campus and 800 at Lakehead University’s Orillia Campus.
Subsequent phases of the plan would create two new specialized facilities – a Centre for Advanced Technology at Georgian’s Barrie Campus and a Design and Visual Arts facility with Entrepreneurship Hub in downtown Barrie. The plan also includes a collaborative online student services portal.
“Our plan has a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs because this is a critical gap in our region and essential to sustain a competitive edge in our local economy,” says Georgian President and CEO Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes. “The combination of applied and theoretical skills we will offer through many integrated degree-diplomas in STEM and other programs will develop an educated and skilled workforce capable of driving innovation. This is key to the economic vitality, development and growth of the central Ontario region.”
In all, the Lakehead-Georgian proposal would add 25 new degree offerings, including integrated degree-diplomas, Lakehead bachelor degrees and Georgian bachelor degrees with an applied focus.
“The benefits are clear,” adds Stevenson. “Our plan means improved access to postsecondary education, close to home, for more students throughout Simcoe County and Central Ontario.”
The proposal would generate an ongoing economic impact of up to $232 million for Central Ontario and create more than 234 faculty and staff jobs in Barrie and Orillia. Further information can be found at lakeheadgeorgian.ca.
The decision on major capacity expansion submissions from MTCU is expected sometime in 2015.
Read more details about the evolving Lakehead-Georgian partnership.