The High School at VIU offers enriching experience for students

Catherine Brazier (left), newly appointed Principal of The High School at VIU and Rebecca Leigh, High School alumna and Marketing Assistant with VIU, are ready to welcome Canadian and international students to the school September 2.

August 18, 2014 - 12:00pm

Rebecca Leigh jumped at the chance to complete her high school education in a non-traditional way.

While many of her peers enrolled in the public school system, she enrolled in The High School at Vancouver Island University (VIU) located on the Nanaimo campus, completing grades 11 and 12 with a cohort of classmates from around the world.

“It was life-changing,” says Leigh, who has since completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master’s of Business Administration at VIU and now works as a Marketing Assistant for the University’s International Education department.

According to newly appointed Principal Catherine Brazier, The High School at VIU offers Canadian and international students an environment where they are encouraged to thrive.

“Students graduate with a BC Dogwood diploma within our truly international program,” explains Brazier. “Our staff encourages students to become global citizens with a strong sense of social responsibility and a commitment to help solve problems in Canada and around the world.”

Brazier, who took over as Principal last spring, is the former founding head of Aspengrove School, an independent school located in Lantzville. She is excited to return to the Nanaimo community and share the unique opportunity that The High School offers students.

Operating on VIU’s Nanaimo campus since 1996, The High School at VIU is one of Nanaimo’s “hidden gems,” adds Brazier.

One message she wants to make clear is that The High School at VIU is open to both international and Canadian students. The diverse student body helps to enrich the learning experience for everyone. “Many Canadian students have excelled here, pursued further education and are now employed in rewarding careers,” she says.

Alumna Caitlin Croft is one such student. She graduated from The High School in 2009 at age 16, travelled for a year, then completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Northern BC in May 2014. She now works for a high tech company in San Francisco.

“As a Canadian student at The High School, I made worldwide connections,” she says. The school’s partnership with the Seishu High School in Sapporo, Japan, allowed me to spend six weeks fully immersed in Japanese culture. It was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Croft also enjoyed small class sizes at The High School, opportunities for one-on-one classroom instruction, and the chance to deeply explore topics of personal interest.

The High School prepares students for entry into university, and qualified graduates are guaranteed direct admission to VIU. Students can take university courses in their grade 12 year, and have access to a myriad of resources and amenities, including VIU’s Library, gymnasium, cafeteria and science labs. The High School at VIU is uniquely positioned as one of only three high schools attached to a Canadian university, adds Brazier, and it is one of the most affordable options to students outside of the public system on Vancouver Island and throughout Canada.

Brazier, who brings 29 years of experience to her new position, including 16 years as Vice-Principal and Principal in both the public and independent school systems, looks forward to the start of the new school year and meeting new and returning students. In the meantime, she invites community members to stop by The High School and find out more about what it offers. Applications for grades 10, 11 and 12 are still being accepted for September and will be accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year. For more information contact Brazier at or 250.740.6317.




Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 E: T: @viunews 

Tags: In the Community

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