Malaspina Officials Optimistic about the Future

February 13, 2008 - 12:57am

In the throne speech delivered Tuesday, February 12, 2008 the government announced that “New steps will be taken to expand B.C.’s public university system, provide new clarity of purpose in our post-secondary institutions and, create new opportunities for higher learning.” This announcement signals optimism for officials at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo.

“I am very optimistic about our future," said Malaspina University-College President Dr. Ralph Nilson.  “Our government’s focus on Aboriginal people, the environment, healthcare, child development and safe communities, are all areas that Malaspina has expertise in and can play an important role,” said Nilson. “Couple these institutional attributes with Malaspina’s geographical location at the entrance to the Canadian Pacific Gateway and I believe there is a wealth of opportunity for Malaspina that could flow from the throne speech.”

Included in the throne speech was a statement that funding will be targeted where it is needed most, to meet skills demands with added training capacity for skilled workers. According to Nilson, focusing on training for skilled workers is essential for economic development in all communities. “Education is the corner stone for growth. Malaspina will continue to build upon the diverse range of programs we offer to ensure that we are meeting the needs of people and communities.”

According to Nilson, Malaspina is one of only a few institutions in Canada that offers the breadth of education and training accessible at their university-college. “We will continue to offer and expand vocational, trades and access training, increase opportunities for Aboriginal students and we will enhance both university undergraduate and graduate programming,” Nilson said. 

“Malaspina still has aspirations of transforming and growing into a full university. We are well positioned to respond to the changing social and economic agendas outlined in the throne speech. Our work in Aboriginal education, coastal studies and research, Asian relations, early childhood development and education, environmental protection, community development and the fact that we operate within a demographic comprised of one of the largest retiree populations in Canada, provides enormous opportunities to address many of the challenges facing our government and our communities." 

According to Malaspina Board Chair, Robin Kenyon, current and future students attending Malaspina, will continue to receive the highest quality of education, training and support available anywhere in the Province. “Due to the quality of instruction, the diversity of our programming and our spectacular location, Malaspina produces high quality graduates and attracts dedicated faculty and staff.  This trend will continue."

“Malaspina serves a valuable role shaping lives and communities,”  added  Nilson. “This is a role that we will continue to play.  We are excited about bringing clarity to our purpose and we look forward to working with the government and the Ministry of Advanced Education to continue to support the learners from all of the communities we serve.”


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