The Town of Milton is a diverse, prosperous and fast-growing community located in Halton Region on the west side of the Greater Toronto Area. For years, the town has sought to attract a university to serve the community’s growing demand for postsecondary education. In 2008, the Town and Laurier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formed an official partnership to explore the establishment of an innovative educational and cultural destination on the western margin of Halton Region.
Since then, the Town and Laurier have collaborated to pursue a shared and vision of an integrated live-work-play education village. As a demonstration of Milton’s commitment, the Town generously donated 150 acres of land, valued at approximately $50 million, to the university as part of its endorsement of a proposed Laurier-Milton partnership. The university has worked closely with the Town to secure other community partnerships and to build awareness among government, business and community leaders of the need and potential for postsecondary education in Milton. As well, the university has offered an annual Laurier-Milton Lecture series in the community for the past eight years. It has also been a strategic partner with the Town in the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre, which opened in April 2014.
Building on the recognized success of Laurier campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, the Town of Milton remains committed to bringing Laurier’s high-quality academic excellence and sector-leading student experience to students in Halton and surrounding regions.
On Oct. 26, 2016, the Ontario government announced plans to create two new university-led postsecondary sites, one in Milton and one in Brampton. The province has allocated up to $180 million for the two sites and has outlined a two-step selection process:
Laurier welcomes this process. It provides the university with the opportunity to express its vision for an academic plan for a Milton site and its vision for strengthening the university through a multi-campus strategy. This iterative two-step process allows Laurier to effectively evaluate the alignment between the province’s objectives and those of the university.
The Ontario government has made clear its desire for proposals that incorporate an innovative approach to educational programming that offers a mix of STEAM disciplines with the stated goal of fostering “partnerships with local communities, business, and other institutions. More access to postsecondary education, closer to home, will help develop Ontario's highly skilled workforce by increasing experiential learning opportunities, helping students acquire the talent and skills for the knowledge economy, and encouraging partnerships in high-demand fields.”
Laurier’s highly regarded science and liberal arts programs align with the government’s objective of ensuring students are well prepared for emerging labour market demands.
At Laurier, the approval of academic programming is the responsibility of the University Senate. The university’s provost and deans will lead a consultative process to develop an academic vision for the Milton campus proposal. If the university proposal is successful, development of program offerings in Milton will follow the required Senate approval processes.
The Laurier Board of Governors approved two motions on Feb. 8 that support the university’s efforts to explore the establishment of a postsecondary site in Milton.
The first motion authorizes the university to submit a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development in response to the REOI issued in January.
The second motion approves a one-year extension to the university’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Town of Milton. The MOU, originally signed in 2008 with two subsequent renewals, confirms the partnership between the Town and Laurier to explore the expansion of Laurier into Milton.
The university is currently developing a submission that meets the REOI requirements and reflects both provincial and university objectives. The Laurier proposal will be submitted by the province’s stated deadline of March 6, 2017.
Laurier will continue to share information about this process as new details become available.
Board of Governors approves plan to submit a Milton proposal to REOI process
Ontario government issues guidelines for Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)
Ontario expands access to postsecondary education in Milton and Brampton
Town of Milton celebrates postsecondary campus announcement
The Premier's Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel (Conway report)
Laurier welcomes Ontario government’s plan to support new postsecondary campuses in both Milton and Brampton
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