Revolutionary Brampton university proposal ruled ineligible by MTCU

August 25, 2014

Perhaps one of the most exciting responses to the Ontario government’s capacity expansion call came from Centennial College, in conjunction with the City of Brampton, outgoing University of Guelph President Alastair Summerlee, and outgoing UoGuelph Provost Maureen Mancuso. Their one-page letter describes a small undergraduate university that would award only interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degrees, without majors, minors, or even academic departments. Students would learn in an active, inquiry-based environment from teaching-focused faculty on flexible staffing contracts, utilizing ePortfolios, eTextbooks, experiential learning, and work placements. (The proposal sounds a lot like a public version of Quest University, which adds very small class sizes and the block method of teaching to generate the highest National Survey of Student Engagement [NSSE] scores in North America.) Yet the Brampton proposal also includes an emphasis on social and participatory learning and internships, and a focus on preparing graduates for entrepreneurship, and for careers in the technology, health, and creative sectors in particular. The radical proposal was not to build a UoGuelph satellite campus, but to create an entirely new university—and because it was not associated with an existing public university, MTCU determined that the proposal would not be assessed as part of the capacity expansion framework. The City of Brampton intends to continue pursuing its PSE strategy in other ways. Brampton letter of intent | Brampton Guardian | Guelph Mercury