Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kwantlen Polytechnic University CoA.svg
Motto Through Tireless Effort, Knowledge, and Understanding
Established 1981
Type Public
Chancellor George Melville [1]
President Dr. Alan Davis [2]
Provost Dr. Salvador Ferreras
Academic staff 1600
Students 20,000
Location Surrey, Richmond, Langley, Cloverdale, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban, Suburban
Colours      Rich Burgandy
KPU Athletics Logo
Mascot Eagle
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, ACCC, ACU, CBIE, CUP
KPU logo.png

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (commonly abbreviated to KPU or Kwantlen, and previously known as Kwantlen University College) is a public degree-granting undergraduate polytechnic university with its main campus in Surrey, British Columbia and satellite campuses in Richmond, Cloverdale and Langley. KPU is one of the largest institutions by enrollment in British Columbia with 20,000 students at its Surrey, Richmond, Langley and Cloverdale campuses combined.

Prior to being granted authority as a University college in 1988, Kwantlen was founded as Kwantlen College. In 2008, the Provincial government announced its intention to amend the University Act at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to make Kwantlen University College a Polytechnic university. The legislation renaming the University College to University received Royal Assent on May 29, 2008 and KPU began operation as Kwantlen Polytechnic University on September 1, 2008.[3][4][5]

Kwantlen became a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) on October 24, 2008.[6]

The Globe and Mail Canadian University Report ranked KPU among the top post-secondary institution relative to enrollment across Canada, earning numerous grades in the "A to B Range" in categories such as quality of teaching and learning, career preparation, student satisfaction and information technology.[7]



Kwantlen College was formed in 1981, by a separation of the South Fraser campus from Douglas College. There were more than 200 suggestions in a contest to name the new South Fraser region college. The winning entry “Kwantlen” was submitted by Stan McKinnon. “Kwantlen” comes from the name of the Kwantlen First Nation in whose traditional territory the university is located. Chief Joe Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation gave permission for the college to use the Kwantlen name.[8][9]

Following a provincial government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia, begun in 1988, five community colleges were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees. These five institutions— Cariboo, Fraser Valley, Kwantlen, Malaspina, and Okanagan—were renamed university colleges. Initially, they offered degrees under the aegis of one or more of the three provincial universities. In 1995 they were awarded the authority to offer degrees in their own right. [10] Also in 1995, the province of British Columbia enacted legislation changing the institution's name to Kwantlen University College. [11]

Expansion and growth[edit]

Transition to university[edit]

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey Campus, Main building (exterior)

In 2005, Kwantlen University College began a campaign to convince elected officials at the municipal and provincial levels, and various key community leaders, to support its efforts to become a university. Removing "college" from its official name would require approval from the government of British Columbia. In its case for the university status, Kwantlen's administrators claimed the change to Kwantlen University would:

  • Enhance Kwantlen's ability to help British Columbia become the best educated, most literate jurisdiction in North America; and
  • Bring multiple benefits to the fastest growing region in BC and help BC achieve long-term growth and prosperity.[12]

In 2007, Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Minister responsible for Research and Technology was joined by special advisor Geoff Plant, to release the Campus 2020 report that recommends Kwantlen University College become Kwantlen University.[13]

On April 22, 2008, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced that Kwantlen University would become Kwantlen Polytechnic University.[14] On April 22, 2008, the Provincial Government announced its intention to amend the University Act at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to make Kwantlen a polytechnic university, in recognition of its "versatility in providing academic, trades and horticultural training."[3] The legislation renaming the University College to University received Royal Assent on May 29, 2008.[4]

AUCC membership[edit]

On October 24, 2008, Kwantlen became a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).[6]

Although the AUCC is not an official government accreditation body, its standardized membership benchmarks and requirements for members serves to ease a student's ability to transfer from undergraduate to graduate programs across Canada and the world.


KPU campuses are in Surrey, Richmond, Cloverdale, and Langley. All located in British Columbia.

Note: A Gallery of KPU's campuses are located in Wikimedia Commons - Commons:Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

KPU Cloverdale

KPU Cloverdale is located at 5500 180th Street in the Cloverdale town centre. The newest of the four KPU campuses, which opened in April 2007, is also certified as a LEED Gold building. It was built for Kwantlen's Trades & Technology programs, which include appliance servicing, automotive service technician, carpentry, CADD technologies, electrical, farrier, masonry, millwright, parts and warehousing, plumbing, public safety communications and welding.[15]

KPU Langley

KPU Langley is located at 20901 Langley Bypass in the Metro Vancouver suburb of Langley. It is the furthest east of KPU's four campuses; 6.1 km from KPU’s Cloverdale campus, and 19.8 km east of the Surrey campus. The Langley campus is home to the university’s School of Horticulture - which includes a field lab, greenhouses, and gardens - and School of Nursing. The latter recently integrated life-sized computer-controlled mannequins that simulate lifelike symptoms into its programs; one of two nursing labs in BC with this technology.

KPU Langley is also the home for the university’s music-related programs, and is equipped with an auditorium for music performances. It also offers science programs, and has biology, chemistry, physics, and geology labs.[16]

KPU Richmond

KPU Richmond is the closest KPU campus to Vancouver, located at 8771 Lansdowne Road, Richmond, just east of the Lansdowne Centre mall and the Canada Line’s Lansdowne Station. It is approximately 20 km west of the Surrey campus. It was KPU’s first official campus, established in 1981 when the institution split from Douglas College back in 1981. It is currently undergoing major renovations with the addition of the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design. The campus is currently home to KPU's Fashion and Design programs, as well as many art and business courses, among others.[17]

KPU Surrey

KPU Surrey is the largest of the four campuses and is located at 12666 72nd Avenue, Surrey, in the community of Newton. Almost all of KPU’s programs are partially – or fully – based out of the Surrey campus. It is the primary location for the university’s School of Business and Office of the President. All KPU Athletics operate out of Surrey, where the university’s gymnasium and fitness centre, along with many recreational facilities, are located.[18]


KPU is composed of faculties in the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as a Division of Science and Mathematics. It has a School of Business, a Faculty of Design, a Faculty of Health Studies, a School of Horticulture, a Faculty of Trades and Technology, and a College of Qualifying Studies. Most of these divisions offer both bachelors degrees and certificates. KPU offers bachelors degrees in key areas of arts and sciences such as: anthropology, Asian Studies, biology, creative writing, English, history, journalism, music, philosophy, policy studies, psychology, sociology, and visual arts. Applied degrees are offered in fields such as business, criminology, design, horticulture, journalism, nursing, and information technology.[19]


KPU has a library on each of its four campuses. The main library is on the Surrey campus. Smaller collections are available in Richmond, Langley, and Cloverdale. Books are freely delivered between campuses. The collections of the KPU libraries total about 190,000 print monographs, nearly 1000 print journal subscriptions, and access to over 100 different on-line databases.[20]

Student enrolment[edit]

For the 2011/2012 academic year, KPU had an enrolment of more than 19,500 students.[21] KPU's region (Richmond, Delta, Surrey, White Rock and Langley) has a population of over 800,000.[22]

Faculty and employees[edit]

As of Fall 2011, Faculty and staff employees number over 1,600 (129 Administrators, 515 Staff, and 1,026 Faculty).[23] While some faculty are also involved in research, their primary role is undergraduate education. In 2011, for the fifth time in a row, Kwantlen Polytechnic University was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, as published in Maclean's magazine.[24] In addition, KPU was named a BC Top 50 employer for the seventh consecutive year in 2013.[25]

Cooperative education[edit]

KPU offers cooperative education in several degree programs including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Technology as well as diploma programs.[26] Such programs include dedicated work-placement semesters that match their field of study, in addition to regular studies.

Program transferability[edit]

KPU offers many transferable courses to other educational institutions, which often lead to direct transfers into second-year or third-year studies at other post secondary institutions. To aid in this, KPU is a part of the BC Transfer Guide Website, an online resource for planning and understanding transfer in the BC post-secondary education system.

New program development[edit]

Additional major and minor programs are under development including a Bachelor of Science - Major in Applications of Mathematics; Bachelor of Science - Physics for Modern Technology; and Bachelor of Technology in Trades Innovation. These are in addition to six newly implemented degrees: Bachelor of Design - Product Design (soft goods), Bachelor of Music in Musical Arts, Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture, Bachelor of Science - Major in Biology, Bachelor of Science - Major in Health Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Post Baccalaureate.[27]

Other programs[edit]

CELTA at Kwantlen[edit]

KPU offers CELTA the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults - one of the most widely recognized certification in the world.[28]

Student life[edit]

Kwinten is the mascot for the Kwantlen Eagles athletics program


KPU is a member of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (or PacWest) which is affiliated with the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. The University has six varsity teams competing in four sports (Men's & Women's Soccer, Men's & Women's Basketball, Badminton, and Golf).

The Athletic teams, known as the Kwantlen Eagles, are supported by "Kwinten" - the University's mascot.

KPU Athletics has had notable results in the following sports:
Women's Soccer - 2009 & 2010 PacWest Provincial Champions, 2009 CCAA National Bronze medalists
Badminton - 2010 National Women's Doubles Bronze, 2011 National Mixed Doubles Gold, 2012 National Men's Doubles Bronze, 2013 National Men's Doubles Silver.

Kwantlen Student Association[edit]

The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) is an elected student body that contributes to community life, and allocates student funds to social, cultural and entertainment programs for students.[29] The KSA was founded as the Kwantlen College Student Society under the Society Act of British Columbia in August 1981.[30]

Since the early 1980s the KSA has also been affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Students as one of its founding members. For a brief period of time in the late 1990s, the KSA was the only Student Association in Canada to have held membership within both the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations at the same time.[citation needed] In March 2008, the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) organized a referendum to disaffiliate from the CFS. One of the reasons given for disaffiliation was media coverage in 2007, alleging corruption within the Douglas Students' Union of the CFS.[31] The KSA also criticized the financial transparency of CFS-BC and argued that the CFS was ineffective at lobbying for students.[32] As of January 2013, the KSA has been attempting to de-federate from the CFS and has joined the "Alliance of BC Students" as an alternative lobbying body. [33]

Governance structure[edit]


The highest authority within the Kwantlen Student Association lies with the membership (who are the students of Kwantlen Polytechnic University). Membership is mandatory. The membership delegates its authority over the day-to-day operations of the society to an elected Board of Directors (Council), which is bound to operate under a Constitution and a set of Bylaws.[34]


The Kwantlen Student Association's first constitution was adopted on August 10, 1981,[citation needed] and the society at that time was known as the Kwantlen College Student Society or KCSS. Minor amendments to the constitution were later made in 1982, and the society also changed its name to the Kwantlen College Student Association or KCSA.[citation needed] The Kwantlen Student Association's current constitution was adopted by the membership on April 25, 1995,[citation needed] and the society also changed its name to its current name, the Kwantlen Student Association otherwise simply known as the KSA.


Each year in February KPU students may run for and elect a Council to a one year term of office that spans April 1 to March 31.[35] The Council is responsible for, and exercises full control over the affairs of the Society while the executive members assist with the management of the day-to-day operations of the society. The Council holds regularly scheduled meetings at least twice each month, excluding the months of July, August and December.[36]

The membership has empowered the Council to create Regulations, which govern the day-to-day operations of the society. The Council may also create Policies, which represent positions, views or opinions that the society may take from time to time on various issues Council feels are relevant to the membership.[37] Standing Committees of Council assist the executive members in shaping the general direction of the Society, as well as advising Council on a variety of issues relevant to students.

Member services[edit]

The KSA operates a cafe, a fitness centre and a social justice centre on campus. It employs an ombudsperson, distributes day planners, and provides advocacy services as well as funding for campus clubs, events, conferences, and political special interest groups. Through the KSA, students and other members of the Kwantlen community are also eligible for special discounts including bus and train passes, discount movie tickets, and other seasonal offers. Finally, full-time students who do not have comparable coverage elsewhere, are automatically eligible to receive benefits from a health and dental plan.


The organization's main office is located at the Surrey Campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The society also has offices and provides services at KPU's three other campuses in Cloverdale, Langley and Richmond. The KSA does not own a student union building.

The Runner[edit]

The Runner is the institution's independent student newspaper. It is a member of the Canadian University Press.[38] Since early 2009,[39] The Runner has added to Kwantlen student life by providing the community with "a freely distributed, year-round, multi-campus, student-owned, student-run news and campus culture publication".[40]

It receives some of its funds from the Kwantlen Student Association under a levy; however, it is run as separate, autonomous incorporated B.C. non-profit society, Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society (PIPS), with its own Kwantlen student board of directors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ News | Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  2. ^ News | Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  3. ^ a b Colley, Ted (April 22, 2008). "Kwantlen granted full university status". Surrey Now. Canwest Publishing. Retrieved on: September 6, 2008
  4. ^ a b Queen's Printer, Victoria. Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia 4th Session, 38th Parliament, May 29, 2008. Retrieved on: September 6, 2008
  5. ^ An Overview of B.C.'s Public Post-secondary Institutions
  6. ^ a b Pires, D. (October 26, 2008). Kwantlen accepted by national universities association. Kwantlen Chronicle. Retrieved on: October 25, 2008
  7. ^ "CANADIAN UNIVERSITY REPORT". The Globe and Mail. 
  8. ^ About Kwantlen
  9. ^ 1981 Chronology
  10. ^ University College
  11. ^ BC Ministry of Advanced Education
  12. ^ University Expansion Proposal
  13. ^ "Campus 2020: thinking ahead: the report". Geoffery P. Plant. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Province to establish kwantlen polytechnic university". Government of BC. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  15. ^ "Cloverdale Campus". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Langley Campus". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Richmond Campus". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Surrey Campus". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Degrees Offered". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  20. ^ "About Kwantlen Library". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  21. ^ "Kwantlen Registration Counts by Academic Year". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada. 
  23. ^ "Employee Numbers by Category". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2007 Canada's Top 100 Employers". 
  25. ^ "KPU named a BC top employer - again!". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Coop Programs". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Degree Programs". Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  28. ^ CELTA
  29. ^ "KSA Mission Statement". Kwantlen University College Student Association. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  30. ^ "Kwantlen College Student Society 1st Annual General Meeting Agenda" (PDF). August 29, 2009. 
  31. ^ "CFS Corruption 3" (video). Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  32. ^ kwantlen student association |
  33. ^ KSA joins Alliance of B.C. Students |. (2014-01-14). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  34. ^ "Society Act, Part 2 — Changes in Constitution and Bylaws". Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  35. ^ "Article 8: Elections, KSA Bylaws". Kwantlen University College Student Association. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  36. ^ "Article 12: Meetings Of Council, KSA Bylaws". Kwantlen University College Student Association. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  37. ^ "Article 1: Interpretation, KSA Bylaws". Kwantlen University College Student Association. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  38. ^ Canadian University Press | Presse universitaire canadienneMembers | Canadian University Press | Presse universitaire canadienne. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  39. ^ [1][dead link]
  40. ^

External links[edit]