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For Immediate Release


Dec. 12, 2008

Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development




NANAIMOVancouver Island University marked its transition to university status during a celebration of two significant events – the convocation of one of the first groups to graduate under the university banner, and the presentation of a commemorative document by Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.


            “The first students to receive their degrees from the new Vancouver Island University participated in a historic event,” said Coell. “Today’s ceremony highlighted our government’s throne speech commitment to the people of British Columbia to expand our public university system. Vancouver Island University is one of five new universities our government has created this year to provide more choices and better access to a post-secondary education, closer to home for B.C. students and their families.”


As part of the government’s commitment to make B.C. the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction in North America, Vancouver Island University and four other institutions were granted university status effective Sept. 1, 2008. VIU has increasingly served the needs of post-secondary students since 2001 by adding new degrees under both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs, including global studies, graphic design, computer science and psychology.


            “We are delivering on government’s promise to expand the public university system,” said Nanaimo-Parksville MLA Ron Cantelon. “We’re showing our commitment right here, with over $25 million invested in capital projects since 2001, including $7 million for the school of management, $4.7 million for library improvements, and over $4 million for marine research.”


Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $1.5 billion in campus capital expansion, opened six new universities, added 32,000 seats, and increased the annual ministry budget for post-secondary institutions by 40 per cent.






Craig MacBride

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

250 356-7882

250 896-9704 (Cell)


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