Three Canada colleges have become universities recently, a phenomenon which is recurring in a country that gives highest priority to education. Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) in Alberta was awarded degree-granting status on February 22, while two other Canada colleges, Red Deer College (RDC) and Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) became universities on March 1.
Canada colleges becoming universities is nothing new. A decade ago, two other Canada colleges in Alberta had become universities. While in British Columbia, five postsecondary institutions became universities in 2008. A few other colleges are also slated to become universities in the future. These include Yukon College, which is expected to become a university within two years, and Sheridan College in Ontario, which is likely to become a university in 2020.
Red Deer College, one of the prominent Canada colleges, had been making the efforts to become a university for around 30 years. RDC won university status arguing that if it became a university, it would make education more accessible and affordable in the region. Grande Prairie Regional College was also awarded university status for the same reason. It is estimated that RDC would take at least three to five years to become a full-fledged university. While GPRC’s transition process will take eight years, it is expected.
Though ACAD had been awarding degrees for around the past 20 years, it had not been given the status of a university. Once ACAD becomes a university, the degrees awarded by the institution will gain more value. ACAD offers professional degrees including BFA, MFA and BD.
Apparently, the next step for these universities will be to apply for a membership in Universities Canada, an organization which represents 96 public and private not-for-profit Canadian universities.
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