When the provincial government announced the start of the university expansion program for Milton and Brampton, it was probably that several universities would express interest.
The March 6 deadline has passed, and the Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews confirmed to the Brampton Guardian that there was in fact only one bid for each site (Wilfrid Laurier University has partnered with Conestoga College for the Milton site).
This will change the government’s application process significantly, as the applications were supposed to go through several rounds of testing, and be finished by the fall. This may speed up the approval and expansion time.
Linda Jeffrey, the mayor of Brampton, says “today’s update from the province is exciting, and we are looking forward to learning more about Ryerson University’s proposal as the process moves forward.”
There are still several unknowns, such as where the university will be located, and how the city, community, and private partners will pitch in to a campus.
City-building and private partnerships for experiential learning are two pillars that are part of Ryerson’s five-year academic plan.
With STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) as the focus of a new university, it’s unclear whether Ryerson will be moving programs to Brampton, or whether it will create new programs and department to complement some of the city’s focuses, such as manufacturing and health sciences.
Ryerson is known for a strong engineering faculty and department, but less so for its science strengths. It currently has only two programs related to health science: nursing and biomedical science.
The province is pitching in $180 million to be divided between Brampton and Milton, but that number may not be divided evenly.
Ryerson’s expansion to Brampton will become its first satellite campus. Sheridan already has three campuses, including the Davis campus at Steeles and McLaughlin in Brampton, and linking the current campus with a new campus will be an important discussion.
The University of Toronto, who originally was in the running, sent this response: