Kwantlen Polytechnic University
|Motto||Through Tireless Effort, Knowledge, and Understanding|
|President||Dr. Alan Davis|
|Provost||Dr. Sandy Vanderburgh|
|Campus||Urban, 92.988 acres (0.376 km²) net|
|Colours||Rich Burgundy |
|Affiliations||AUCC, IAU, CICan, ACU, CBIE, CUP|
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (commonly abbreviated to KPU) is a public degree-granting undergraduate polytechnic university in British Columbia, Canada with campuses in Surrey, Richmond, Cloverdale, Whalley, and Langley. KPU is one of the largest institutions by enrolment in British Columbia with a total of 20,000 students and 1,400 faculty members across its five locations, encompassing the Metro Vancouver district. KPU provides undergraduate and vocational education including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, apprenticeships, and citations in more than 120 diverse programs. The school operates largely as an undergraduate polytechnic university but also serves as a vocational school offering apprenticeships for the skilled trades as well as diplomas in vocational education for skilled technicians and workers in support roles in professions such as engineering, accountancy, business administration, nursing, medicine, architecture, and criminology.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University was founded as Kwantlen College in 1981 as a response to the growing need for expanded vocational training across the Fraser Valley. In 1995, it became a university college. In 2008, the provincial government announced its intention to amend the University Act to appoint 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.
KPU became a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) on October 24, 2008. Also in affiliation with KPU include: the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), and the Canadian University Press (CUP).
The Globe and Mail Canadian University Report ranked KPU among the top post-secondary institution relative to enrolment 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. Published in Maclean's magazine, the National Survey of Student Engagement also listed KPU among the top Canadian institutions relative to student participation, educational practices, and quality of education.
Kwantlen College was formed in 1981 by separation 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.
Following a provincial government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia that 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.  Also in 1995, the province of British Columbia enacted legislation changing the institution's name to Kwantlen University College.
Expansion and growth
Transition to University
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.
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.
On April 22, 2008, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced that Kwantlen would become Kwantlen Polytechnic University. On April 22, 2008, the provincial government announced its intention to amend the University Act to make Kwantlen a polytechnic university, in recognition of its "versatility in providing academic, trades and horticultural training." The legislation renaming the University College to University received royal assent on May 29, 2008.
On October 24, 2008, KPU became a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).
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 all in British Columbia's Lower Mainland. They are located in:
Note: Wikipedia Commons has a gallery of KPU's campuses - Commons:Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
KPU Tech (Cloverdale)
KPU Tech, formerly known as KPU Cloverdale is the second newest of the five KPU campuses, opening in April 2007. The new Cloverdale campus replaced the aging Newton campus facilities which had served as the home for trades training since Kwantlen's inception. The new Cloverdale building is certified as an LEED Gold building and houses KPU's Trades & Technology programs, which include appliance servicing, automotive servicing, carpentry, farriery, masonry, parts and warehousing, welding, plumbing, public safety communications and CADD technologies.
The Langley campus is home to the university’s School of Horticulture - which includes a field lab, greenhouses, and gardens. The Langley campus is also home to KPU's music programs and includes performance spaces and an auditorium. KPU Langley also offers science programs, and has biology, brewing, chemistry, physics, and geology labs with industry-standard equipment.
KPU Richmond was KPU’s first official campus, established in 1981 when the institution split from Douglas College. In 2018, the campus underwent 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. In January 2018, the new Wilson School of Design facility officially opened its doors beside the KPU Richmond campus. This includes teaching studios and labs, gallery space and 3D printers.
KPU Surrey, often called the main campus, is the largest of the five campuses and offers a range of courses across multiple faculties. It is the primary location for the university’s School of Business and Office of the President. All KPU Sport + Recreation operate out of Surrey, where the university’s gymnasium and fitness centre, along with many recreational facilities, are located.
KPU Civic Plaza
KPU Civic Plaza, the newest and smallest campus at KPU, opened in Spring 2019 in 3 Civic Plaza, a new skyscraper in the city centre. The campus occupies 5 of the lower floors of the building. It was designed to focus towards post-baccalaureate education for mature students as well as business education. The campus was expected to open in early 2016, but was consistently delayed due to construction issues with the skyscraper.
KPU has over 120 different programs across seven distinct faculties — Academic and Career Advancement, Arts, Business, Design, Health, Science and Horticulture, and Trades and Technology — where students can pursue a degree, diploma, certificate, citation, or work towards completing an apprenticeship.
Organic Farmer Training
KPU operates two farms that offer "Farm School" training as a non-credit continuing education program. These schools, located in Richmond and Tsawwassen, teach students applied sustainable farming practices and include a farm incubator program for alumni.
KPU has a library on all of its campuses, with the exception of Civic Centre. The largest library is on the Surrey campus with smaller program focused collections available in Richmond, Langley, and Cloverdale. KPU students and faculty have access to millions of items through the library, including online journal and newspaper articles, print and ebooks, streaming media and more. Items from other parts of Canada and around the globe can also be accessed through the library's free interlibrary loans service.
KPU has an enrolment of more than 20,000 students annually and over 12,000 FTE (full-time equivalency) students annually. KPU's region (Richmond, Delta, Surrey, White Rock and Langley) has a population of over 800,000.
Faculty and employees
As of Fall 2016, Faculty and staff employees number over 1,400. While some faculty are also involved in research, their primary role is undergraduate education. KPU was named a BC Top 50 employer for the tenth consecutive year in 2017.
KPU offers cooperative education in several degree programs including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Technology as well as diploma programs. Such programs include dedicated work-placement semesters that match their field of study, in addition to regular studies.
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
Additional major and minor programs and specialized courses are currently under development. KPU will be the first public, post-secondary institution in British Columbia to offer studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine. KPU's Faculty of Arts has also launched two new program offerings; a minor in language and culture, and a major in applied geography. In 2016, KPU launched an introductory bhangra course. Continuing and Professional Studies launched an online cannabis career training course.
As of 2017, KPU launched a minor in Medicinal Chemistry and a minor in Aboriginal Community Justice. School of Business launched three post-baccalaureate programs in Technical Management and Services, Operations Supply Chain Management, and Accounting.
Starting in September 2018, KPU will open a new Mechatronics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Diploma program.
KPU was previously a member of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (or PacWest) which is affiliated with the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. The University had 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, were 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.
The Eagles athletics program ceased operations after the 2015-6 academic year.
Sport + Recreation (2016 - Present)
KPU Sport + Rec proudly offers fitness centres and studios on all KPU campuses. Free membership to fitness centre is available to all current students, employees, and alumni.
Tournaments, sports leagues, intramurals along with various Lunch & Lawn activities are available through KPU Sport + Rec.
Kwantlen Student Association
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. The KSA was founded as the Kwantlen College Student Society under the Society Act of British Columbia in August 1981.
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. 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. The KSA also criticized the financial transparency of CFS-BC and argued that the CFS was ineffective at lobbying for students. 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.
At a Special General Meeting held on November 30, 2011 Kwantlen students voted 352 to 0 to remove thirteen directors of the KSA and place them into "bad standing" where they would be unable to run for future office. The vote was held over allegations of conflicts of interest in settling litigation, association with the embezzlement of two million dollars of student funds, and a 40% pay raise to the elected officials on their first day of office among other things.
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.
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. 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.
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 is the institution's independent student newspaper. It is a member of the Canadian University Press. Since early 2009, 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".
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.
- Canadian Interuniversity Sport
- List of universities in British Columbia
- Higher education in British Columbia
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