University Feature: University of Northern British Columbia
Best Small Research-Intensive University; Canada’s Green University; Northern Leadership University: These three titles could all be alternative names for the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). One of Canada’s smaller universities, which only began in 1990, has blossomed in northern B.C. due to its strong “passion for teaching, discovery, people and the North” (https://www.unbc.ca/northern-leadership/about-the-campaign). As a result, UNBC is known for its engineering, technology, resource management, and healthy communities.
As residents were moving out of the North, UNBC wanted to transform the region and become a positive influence on the future of local industries and the local community. As a result, the $15 million Northern Leadership Campaign was born. Acting as a catalyst for continued growth, this fundraiser is aimed to “strengthen UNBC’s leadership for the next generation, while empowering economic, social and cultural prosperity” (https://www.unbc.ca/ northern-leadership/about-the-campaign).
UNBC is recognized in Canada as a university that creates local solutions that cause a global impact. One of their most notable initiatives is Green Day, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. Recognizing UNBC as Canada’s Green University is about “bringing attention to the unsung heroes of sustainable initiatives on the campus as well as gathering and generative new ideas for the future” (https://www.unbc.ca/green). There are four focus areas of Environment and natural resources; First Nations and Indigenous issues; Northern community sustainability and development; and Health and quality of life. The holistic approach to sustainability has gained UNBC a reputation of admiration.
The University of Northern British Columbia is small but the impact on the greater community has made the rest of Canada (and beyond) notice their efforts. To stay connected with what UNBC is doing to create leaders of tomorrow and a sustainable environment, you can view the Green Report at https://www.unbc.ca/sites/default/files/sections/green/2017greenreport.pdf