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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Exploring a Milton Campus

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.

Process

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:

  • Step 1 is the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), to be released in January 2017. In this first step, the province will be looking for conceptual proposals that demonstrate financial and site viability, and which feature collaborative partnerships and an innovative approach to educational programming that offers a mix of STEAM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — and provides students with learning opportunities geared to the knowledge economy.
  • Step 2 involves an Invitational Call for Proposals whereby selected institutions will be invited to fully develop their proposals for further discussion. Successful proponents could be announced by fall 2017.

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.

Developing an Academic Plan

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.

Strengths and Priorities Aligned

The vision for a Laurier campus in Milton aligns closely with the university’s Strategic Mandate Agreement. With successful campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, Laurier is a recognized leader in the multi-community, multi-campus delivery of academic and professional undergraduate and graduate programs. The university is also well-known for the holistic development of students. Our integrated-and-engaged learning model combines academic and experiential learning opportunities, from entrepreneurship and social innovation to co-op, practicum and community service-learning placements, offered across a wide variety of faculties and programs.

Laurier graduates consistently do well in finding employment, routinely exceeding provincial averages. In the most recent graduate employment survey conducted for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, 89.1% of Laurier students who graduated in 2013 found employment within six months of graduation, compared to the provincial average of 87%; and 94.6% of Laurier students who graduated in 2013 found employment within two years of graduation, compared to the provincial average of 93.6%.

Next Steps

To ensure that the university’s long-term best interests are met, Laurier will review the specific requirements (when known) of the process carefully and consult with the university’s internal, municipal and community stakeholders. The university’s intent is to develop a proposal that meets the stated requirements and reflects both provincial and university objectives. Once these requirements are known, the university Board of Governors will oversee the submission of a response to the Request for Expressions of Interest, with input from the University Senate.

Laurier will continue to share information about this process as new details become available.

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