The University of Guelph and Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning are exploring educational opportunities in the City of Brampton.

U of G was approached by the City of Brampton and asked to meet with its “University Blue Ribbon Exploratory Panel.” A meeting with officials from U of G and Humber was held today.

The panel, headed by former Ontario premier Bill Davis, was created by the City of Brampton last spring to explore options for establishing a university campus there.

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has indicated it will call for proposals for a new campus to serve the Peel and Halton regions.

“Today is the beginning of a dialogue,” said U of G president Franco Vaccarino.

“We are discussing potential opportunities for collaboration. We see this as a possible way to expand the highly successful University of Guelph-Humber.”

The only one of its kind in Canada, the University of Guelph-Humber allows students to earn both a university honours degree and a college diploma in four years.

The partnership was created to address changes in higher education and skill shortages in the workplace.

Guelph-Humber is considered a model of innovative education and a successful collaborative venture.

Expansion options in Brampton could include new programs, facilities and academic pathways for students.

“Working together, Guelph and Humber have a proven model for a campus that fully meets the provincial government’s vision for greater access to high-quality education, preparing students to be innovative and successful in their fields,” Vaccarino said.

Guelph-Humber welcomed its first students in fall 2002. More than 6,200 students have graduated.

The institutions opened a dedicated $45-million facility on the Humber north campus in 2004. Today 4,700 students are enrolled in 10 academic programs at Guelph-Humber.

“In many ways, Guelph-Humber is already Brampton’s local university,” said Humber president Chris Whitaker.

About one in four Guelph-Humber students live in Brampton. The university works with more than 230 Brampton employers providing work placements, co-op positions and internships for students.

Adds Whitaker, “We are exploring ways to build on those relationships and provide new opportunities for students and for advancing development of the regional economy.”