Posted on Nov 18, 2021
Julia Nyberg, Vice-Chancellor, and Principal of UBCO, joined us this week for an informative presentation of current activities and future growth plans for the campus. Lesley’s Assistant, Celest Pennington, was also present to assist with the presentation.
In-person classes are once again being offered at UBCO. There are high levels of vaccination among students, faculty and other staff and rapid testing, with on-campus vaccination clinics, are being offered to ensure a safe return to campus.
The UBCO Okanagan Campus has experienced a strong growth in the past four years.  Full time student enrolment increased from about 8,600 to almost 12,000 in this period. There are currently 8,441 domestic undergraduate students and 2,018 international undergraduates. The full-time graduate student population is 1,103, of which, one-third are international students. In total, over 110 countries are represented by international students.
Three unique programs were launched this fall:
  • Bachelor Of Sustainability.
  • Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency.
  • Microcredential Programs (critical skills for communications in the technical sector; skills in industrial automation)
Research has also strengthened at UBCO in four key areas:
  • Resilient environments – sustainability, ecosystem mgmt., restorative, and high-value agriculture
  • Healthy people – rural and remote health, chronic disease prevention, healthy living, and aging
  • Emerging Technologies – materials and manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, biomedical engineering
  • Thriving communities – arts and creativity, indigeneity, social innovation, community resilience
The campus goals for 2040 project a full-time student population of 18,000 students, $100 M in annual research funding, and $4.8 B in annual economic impact to the region.  Several new capital projects are in progress or planned to start in the next 5 years.  New campus growth will be focused on the vacant land adjacent to Innovation Drive (West of the Airport) and in the new Campus in Downtown Kelowna.
Anti-racism and inclusive excellence at UBCO
In June 2020 UBC reaffirmed its institutional commitment to inclusion and called for the acceleration and intensification of efforts to build more inclusive campuses. Initiatives are focused the following areas:
  • advancement of UBCO Truth and Reconciliation Commitments
  • Indigenous Strategic Plan
  • Inclusion Action Plan
  • Anti-racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force
UBCO also has a long history of successful partnerships in Lake Country, with a number of fruitful research projects and training opportunities.
Community training and field experience
  • Okanagan School of Education partnerships with the Lake Country Museum and Archives and SD23.
Regional and community planning
  • Dr. Lael Parrott – collaboration with Lake Country Planners on Official Community Plan re: wildlife protection and ecological connectivity.
  • Result: a 16 km section of the Central Okanagan Wildlife Corridor was incorporated into the Lake Country OCP to project grasslands and species at risk.
Local research partnerships
  • Co-curricular making – honoring indigenous connections to land, culture, and the relational self-research project underway led by Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latte with partners in SD 23
  • Sr. Solheil Mahmoud worked with Predator Ridge to conduct research resequencing the genome of lavender to determine which varieties grow best in cooler climates
What excites UBCO Most?
Bits and Pieces
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