Université de Saint-Boniface
|Type||Private public-interest corporation|
|Chairman||Léo Robert (since 2009)|
|President||Gabor Csepregi (since 2014)|
|Location||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Campus||Francophone neighbourhood of St. Boniface|
|Affiliations||University of Manitoba|
Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) is a French-language post-secondary institution in the province of Manitoba, Canada. USB offers general and specialized university degree programs as well as technical and professional training to a wide variety of students from Manitoba, the rest of Canada and some 20 different countries. Located in the St. Boniface neighbourhood in the city of Winnipeg and affiliated with the University of Manitoba, USB now has 1,250 regular students and more than 5,000 enrolments in its Continuing Education Division, which includes a language school. It is the only French-language university in Western Canada.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Programs
- 4 Research
- 5 Scholarships & Bursaries
- 6 Administration
- 7 Famous Alumni
- 8 University Press
- 9 Notes and references
With its origins dating back to 1818 and established by Father Norbert Provencher (1787–1853), Université de Saint-Boniface is Western Canada’s oldest post-secondary educational institution. It had its humble beginnings as a small school where Latin was taught to the boys of the French-speaking Red River Colony.
The school continued to grow, and in 1855, Msgr. Alexandre-Antonin Taché (1823–1894) oversaw the construction of Collège de Saint-Boniface, a two-story building on the corner of Taché Avenue and Masson Street.
From 1866 to 1870, under the guidance of Bishop George Dugas, Collège reorganized its programs to consolidate the instruction of Latin, Greek and philosophy into a classical curriculum.
Incorporated in 1871, Collège was one of the first official institutions of the new province of Manitoba, which had joined Canadian Confederation the year before. In 1877, together with the Anglican St. John’s College and the Presbyterian Manitoba College, it helped establish the University of Manitoba. Collège served both francophone and anglophone Catholic students. Around the same time, Manitoba saw a major influx of French-speaking newcomers from Quebec as well as France, Switzerland and Belgium. In 1880, increased enrolment led to the construction of a larger building on the site of what is now Provencher Park. Annual enrolment at that time was around 300 students.
In 1890, French lost its official language status in Manitoba, and in 1916, the Thornton Act strictly prohibited French-language instruction in the province’s public schools. As a private institution, Collège remained in operation and even encouraged public schools to defy the government ban. French-language teaching continued clandestinely.
In 1922, a major fire completely destroyed the building, including all of its records and the 40,000-volume library; it also claimed ten victims. In response to this tragedy, Msgr. Arthur Béliveau, Archbishop of St. Boniface, donated the seminary (Le Petit Séminaire) on Avenue de la Cathédrale, the present location of USB. The English-speaking Jesuits founded their own college (St. Paul’s College) in 1925, and USB became a francophone institution, although it offered business courses in English until 1941.
The 1960s were marked by three major changes: the arrival of women in the classroom (1959), the beginnings of continuing education (including conversational French and French as a second language classes) and the institution’s transition to a secular administration (1969).
In 1975, Collège began to offer technical and professional programs, which led to the creation of the École technique et professionnelle in 1989. In 1983, high school classes were transferred to Collège Louis-Riel and Collège began to focus solely on post-secondary education.
The institution officially became the Université de Saint-Boniface in September 2011, following passage of the Université de Saint-Boniface Act.
Maintaining an historical connection
Despite its new university status, USB continues to be affiliated with the University of Manitoba, which it helped establish in 1877. Enshrined in the Université de Saint-Boniface Act, the affiliation with the University of Manitoba has valuable benefits for USB staff and students, and USB was committed to preserving this special 135-year-old relationship. University degrees will continue to be conferred by the University of Manitoba. However, graduates of the technical and professional programs of the École technique et professionnelle (ETP) will receive their diploma or certificate from Université de Saint-Boniface.
A pivotal hub of French-language education and of Manitoba's francophone community, USB now welcomes students from around the world and its reputation for excellence has spread far beyond Canada's borders.
Located on 200 Avenue de la Cathedrale which is in the heart of Winnipeg's green and quiet St. Boniface neighbourhood, Université de Saint Boniface is a stone's throw away from cafés, restaurants and shopping. It is also close to the St. Boniface Hospital, the St. Boniface Cathedral, and the meandering Red River. Pedestrians can walk across the striking Esplanade Riel to Winnipeg's downtown core or the large public market at The Forks.
With its magnificent Tyndall stone façade, the main USB building houses two gymnasiums, the Sportex fitness centre, a library, a chapel, the Étienne Gaboury student centre, the campus radio station, an amphitheatre, computer facilities, a performance hall and an art gallery.
The brand new Pavillon Marcel-A.-Desautels health sciences building opened its doors in 2011.
Université de Saint-Boniface offers both university and technical and professional programs as well as continuing education courses.
|Faculty of Arts||Bachelor of Arts (General)
Bachelor of Arts (Latin - Philosophy)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - French
Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) - French
Master of Arts in Canadian Studies
|School of Translation||Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Translation
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Translation (online program)
Bachelor of Arts (Joint Major) - French and Translation
Certificate in Translation
Certificate in Translation (online program)
|School of Business Administration||Bachelor of Business Administration
|Faculty of Science||Bachelor of Science (General)
Bachelor of Science (Major)
|School of Social Work||Bachelor of Social Work
|Technical and Professional Programs||Bachelor of Nursing
|Faculty of Education
after obtaining a first degree
|Bachelor of Education - Early and Middle Years
Bachelor of Education - Senior Years
Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education
Master of Education - Counselling*
Master of Education - Inclusive Education
Master of Education - School Administration*
Master of Education - Language, Literacy and Curriculum
*program offered online and in the classroom
Technical and Professional Programs
|Department of Business||Business Administration Diploma
Tourism Management Diploma
|Department of Technology||Multimedia Communications Diploma
Information Technology Diploma
Webmaster Certificate (online program)
|Department of Health and
|Health Care Aide Certificate
Early Childhood Education Diploma
Advanced Diploma in Leadership in Early Childhood Education
Bachelor of Nursing
Université de Saint-Boniface’s Continuing Education Division offers a variety of courses in several areas. Its Language School (École de langues) has French and Spanish courses, and also produces innovative instructional material for teaching French as a first or additional language. The Continuing Education Division has an annual enrolment of over 5,000 students.
The research conducted at Université de Saint-Boniface garners international recognition and focuses especially on areas closely related to the university, such as health and Francophone and Métis identity.
Founded in 1985, USB’s Research Centre is home to the Centre d’études Franco-canadiennes de l’Ouest (CEFCO), Presses universitaires de Saint-Boniface (PUSB), the Canada Research Chair on Métis Identity (CRCMI) and the Community-University Research Alliance on Francophone Identities in Western Canada (ARUC-IFO).
Scholarships & Bursaries
The Government of Canada sponsors an Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool that lists over 680 scholarships, bursaries, and other incentives offered by governments, universities, and industry to support Aboriginal post-secondary participation. Université de Saint-Boniface scholarships for Aboriginal, First Nations and Métis students include: Louis Riel Scholarships; Louis Riel Institute Bursaries
The purposes and powers of Université de Saint-Boniface are set out in the Université de Saint-Boniface Act, the most recent version of which dates back to June 2011. Its bilateral governance structure consists of the Board of Governors and the Senate. A number of ad hoc committees are also in place.
USB President, Gabor Csepregi
Born in Hungary, Gabor Csepregi left the Eastern Bloc in 1968. His love of adventure and his thirst for knowledge led him to Canada, more precisely to the city of Québec, where he studied at Université Laval. Dr. Csepregi holds a Doctorate in Philosophy (1986) and a Master of Arts in Theology (1976). Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Dr. Csepregi coached the Canadian water polo team from 1978 to 1984. He is also a prolific author who has published scholarly articles in different languages on many subjects, specifically philosophical anthropology, education and music. He became President in July 2014..
Board of Governors
The 15-member Board of Governors oversees the administration of USB affairs. Its duties include managing the institution's assets, appointing senior staff, approving the USB budget, and adding or eliminating programs.
A number of USB graduates went on to pursue exceptional careers or made a major impact in some other way. Its alumni include prominent judges, lawyers, visionary bishops and archbishops, true pioneers of radio and television, Stanley Cup hockey champions, a renowned architect and a world-famous singer. Another famous USB alumnus was, of course, Louis Riel, the Métis leader who negotiated the terms under which the province of Manitoba entered Canadian Confederation in 1870.
The Presses universitaires de Saint-Boniface (PUSB) university press was established in 1990. It publishes the research findings of Université de Saint-Boniface faculty as well as the work of the Centre d’études Franco-canadiennes de l’Ouest (CEFCO) and the Cahiers franco-canadiens de l’Ouest.
To date, PUSB has published works on educational integration, translation, grammar, cultural production, inter-linguistic and socio-cultural relations, and francophone education in a minority setting.
Notes and references
- VERRETTE, Michel, historian at Université de Saint-Boniface
- SAINT-PIERRE, Annette, De fil en aiguille au Manitoba, Winnipeg, Éditions des Plaines, 1995, 376 p.
- PELCHAT, Carole, archivist at Université de Saint-Boniface
- PELCHAT, Carole, “Le Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface”, Saint-Boniface, 1908-2008 : reflets d’une ville, Winnipeg, Presses universitaires de Saint-Boniface, 2008, p. 111-114.
- Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool
- Government of Manitoba website
- Office of the president archives, Université de Saint-Boniface.