WLU waits for Milton campus
After the Ontario provincial government released a plan to build three new university satellite campuses almost four years ago, Wilfrid Laurier University’s plan to begin expanding into Milton still halted.
Laurier still hopes to take on another campus and expand into Milton with their proposed campus in what will become the Milton Education Village.
Laurier still believes that Milton would make a great location for a new campus due its growing population and need for a post-secondary institution of its own.
Despite the plan being released earlier this year, the provincial government has not yet released its policy on governing the creation of new satellite campuses for universities.
However, Brian Rosborough, director for government relations, spoke to the possibility of opening a new Laurier campus.
“As we understand the province’s commitment, the new policy would define what types of expansion are to be regulated by the policy,” he explained.
“It is expected that the policy would set out criteria related to the province’s post-secondary education priorities as well as its overall growth planning and economic development goals. It is also expected to outline a process for seeking approval and funding for new campuses.”
Despite many aspects of the new campus still being up in the air, Laurier has been working with the city of Milton to plan for the possibility of expanding there in the near future.
“We have been working with the Town of Milton and they have acquired land intended for our campus in anticipation that the government will approve a Laurier campus in Milton,” Rosoborough said.
He added, “The land will be donated to Laurier once provincial approval and funding for the campus has been provided.”
However, the expected start date for this process has yet to be determined, as the province has still not announced which post-s
econdary schools will be allowed to open new satellite campuses.
So, for now Laurier continues to wait, but is still continuing to work with both officials in the town of Milton
as well as the Regional Municipality of Halton to secure provincial support for a new campus in Milton.
Laurier and Milton are still optimistic that proposals will succeed and that a new campus will advance in excellence and education, in community building and economic development and will reflect the province’s sustainable growth and planning goals and policies.
Along with continuing to advocate for provincial approval, Laurier is also looking for support from the province for funding for the campus.
However, in an interview with Jim Butler, vice president of finance and administration at Laurier he explained that the school is not currently making any decisions.
“We’re not making any financial commitments until the province gives its approval of a Laurier campus in Milton,” he explained. “The Town of Milton, though, has donated a beautiful plot of land.”
In regards to proposed programming at the potential campus, Rosborough said that plans will not begin until the province has confirmed the support of a new campus.
He also explained that potential programming there would need to be guided by Laurier’s academic plan and multi-campus framework and be complementary to the programming in Waterloo and Brantford.
Rosborough also hopes that once the new provincial cabinet gets settled into its responsibilities that progress can soon be made and that a resolution is not too far off.