About the University Project
A strategic direction in the Timmins 2020 Strategic Plan is to “strengthen our community’s social and cultural fabric”. One of the projects that will work to fulfill this goal is the attraction of an English university to Timmins. (The Université de Hearst serves the local Francophone population, but there are no university options for English speakers).
Its goal is to provide more quality educational options to local students, and help Timmins attract and retain talented, well-educated youth. A local university could also ensure that we have more skilled employees in the fields that are most relevant to Northern Ontario.
Various committees have been working on this project since the mid-1950s, but we have had no luck convincing the provincial government that Timmins really needs to have its own English-language university. It remains an important priority for the city, and that’s why it continues to be part of its strategic plans. Universities are important factors in developing local community culture, diversifying the economy and promoting professional and graduate-level education.
Although we don’t have an actual university yet, Northern College’s Porcupine Campus offers a selection of university level courses –and even a few degree programs– from various institutions.
For example, Algoma University has been offering programs at Northern College since 2010. Enrollment in 2013-2014 was the highest yet with 40 full and part time students. Algoma U at Timmins currently offers two distinct degree options:
- A four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree.
- A three-year Bachelor of Arts in Community Development.
Northern also offers a joint nursing program (Bachelor of Nursing degree) through Laurentian University. Queens University will be partnering with Northern College’s Porcupine Campus to establish an accredited Mining Engineering Degree. The program is slated to begin accepting applicants in 2015.
The Timmins Economic Development Corporation is the lead on this project. It has a mandate to look at projects that support a stronger, more resilient economy, and a local university campus would be a very effective way to do this.
The TEDC continues to research this project and continues to work with Northern College to reach out to universities across Ontario.
The University Project is a collaborative effort that involves many community partners, but the City of Timmins itself is also taking on an important role. For example, The City’s IT Department is creating a website called learnintimmins.com. The site will outline Timmins options for post secondary education such as university, college, or continuing education. The site will be similar to the jobsintimmins.com website and will be free for users and providers.
The committee met with the University of Sudbury to discuss how some of their humanities programs can be incorporated into existing social work programs at Northern.
TEDC assisted Algoma U with a lunch and learn event in June to market their programs to the community.
TEDC submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to demonstrate a strong need for an English university in Timmins.
What You Can Do
- Spread the word about the exciting educational opportunities in Timmins.
- Lobby our provincial government to support a new university campus in Timmins.
- Speak to our MPP about making the University a government priority. You can contact him at 416-325-7122.
- Be a life-long learner and check out the post-secondary options we have in Timmins.