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October 28, 2017 3:51 am

UNBC Prepares for the Big Party

Monday, June 15, 2015 @ 3:57 AM

Prince George, B.C. – This Saturday, UNBC will be  officially celebrating it’s 25th anniversary.  This significant milestone will be  marked with a special event at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.Dr. Tracy Summerville  is  the Chair of the25th Anniversary  Steering Committee and says it is  amazing to see how  UNBC has been embraced by the community “I think the thing about an academic institution is that it  kind  of has to make its way into the community  and the relationships that have to develop”   she adds that part of the celebration is to  recognize that 25 year  relationship with the community  “and to share with people what we do.”

The theme of  Saturday’s event is “The Founding and the Future ” and  Dr. Summerville says while UNBC has  had an impact on Prince George,  “it only  happened because the community  decided  it wanted that. It’s not just the University putting itself into the community but the community accepting us in that way and all the incredible partnerships that have developed along the way.”

The community  pressed  long and hard to  have a  free standing institution, and 16 thousand people signed a petition  to  back up their call.  Dr. Summerville  says there will be something special  to offer  recognition to that effort  but no hints on how that recognition will be delivered “I think if I hint I’m  going to be in big trouble” says Dr. Summerville.  “It’s going to be   very touching, I think people are going to be  really, really surprised.”

The Celebration starts at 2:30 at the Sports Centre,  and will include  UNBC President Daniel Weeks  outlining his vision for the future of the University.  Other speakers include  alumni from the past and present  talking about  their experiences.

“We’re  going to recognize the past 25 years, but really, we are at  an incredible crossroads, 25 years is a moment,  we do have a new president, and I think that what we’re going to hear  is not just  where we’ve been, but  where we’re going, and  I also think we’re going to demonstrate some of the uniqueness of UNBC some of those institutional things that have become part of us.  We’re also going to give  a sense of where people are in the world who are alumni.”

So while the event will look at past present and future,  Dr. Summerville says  there will also be  a thank you, “An incredible thank you. Because  obviously none of us would be here without the community, and I don’t mean just Prince George, I mean regional community, people who committed to the idea.”

The  celebration  starts at 2:30 and will wrap  up around 4  with  cake.


The community pressed long and hard to have a free standing University. While this statement is true, the fact that it is free standing is one of the main reasons it is having problems to-day. Other University Colleges in the Province are doing fine, while UNBC is facing some serious financial difficulties.

The original intent of the petition for a University in this area was to collect 50,000 signatures in the interior. People paid $5.00 to sign the petition and after a year or so they had only garnered 16000 signatures, and that was that. The goal of 50,000 is never mentioned.

So the signatures on the petition fell short, and student enrolment at this University is falling far short of expectations. There does not seem to be an easy fix to get enrolment numbers up.

It seems that the decision to have a stand alone University as opposed to a University College may not have been the right decision.

Palopu, oh pooh on you.

There are four research institutions in the province: UBC, SFU, UVic, and UNBC. The rest were all colleges that were transformed into universities largely, in the opinion of many at the time, to grab votes. There is a big difference between a research facility and a university-college and given the unique nature and location of UNBC, it needed to be a place of research since we have interests up here that aren’t even on the radar of the southern schools.
There is also a difference between financial challenges created by an ill-conceived notion and strangulation by a provincial government that scarcely sees value in education of any kind.

“…I think people are going to be really, really surprised.”


I’d be surprised if somehow, this party wasn’t funded by the taxpayer.

RDHoney. Sometimes a little rain on a parade is better that a bunch of people sitting around listening to a Court Jester.

There is usually a hell of a difference between what something actually is, as opposed to what we would like it to be. Krusty’s post is a prime example.

1. He doesn’t explain what our interests **up here** are in relation to Southern Schools. He would have you believe that the rest of the Province doesn’t have Pulp Mills, Mines, Lumber, Farming, etc; etc;. We have nothing here that is any different from other parts of the Province. So, so much for that line.

2. He also conveniently disregards, or perhaps never knew that the Provincial Government has been **OVERFUNDING** UNBC for the past five or six years to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. The University rarely mentions this, however if you would care to take the time to read their website you would understand some of whats going on.

Hopefully we will get a better understanding of how UNBC is doing, when the new president makes his speech.

Have a nice day.

The province has hurt UNBC by creating many universities… TRU, Capilano U, VIU, and so on.
What else has hurt UNBC enrollment is not lack of interest of attending. Just the decline in student population in Northern BC altogether. Most of the student population is, and always have been Northern residents. UNBC has failed to attract enough students from the south, and that really boils down to misconception. Most lower mainlanders have no idea what we have up here, and trying to convince an 18 year-old who is used to Vancouver to move to a small city in the middle of BC is a tough sell.


One could say that building a University in the North has hurt UBC and Simon Fraser, after all that was where students went before UNBC. In fact may people from the North continue to go to these Universities.

Does it make sense to force students from the South or Southern Interior to come to Prince George. I think not.


No one said anyone is forcing them to come to prince george. There were a lot of options for universities in the lower mainland and on the island before the spree of college to university conversions. I’m sure many students from the north still attend the universities in the south, but the fact they have a choice to attend in the north was and is important.

As for the idea one could complain UNBC hurt UBC and SFU, that is a non-point. Both universities are at capacity, and as of late, seem to focus on attracting international students rather than British Columbians. The small 3,500 student campus in PG means nothing to them. Having a university in the north simply made university actually attainable for so many who can’t afford the ridiculous tuition costs of UBC/SFU, matched with the most expensive cost of living in Canada.

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