The Town of Fort Smith is pleased to support the transformation of Aurora College into a Polytechnic University and the wonderful benefits it will provide to our community.
Why is a University good for Fort Smith and the Northwest Territories?
- We will educate Northern students in a friendly, small northern community - It allows for the best "place based, Northern focused and Indigenous led post-secondary education opportunities".
- It will grow the knowledge economy in Fort Smith and the NWT - A strong educational base in Fort Smith will help build stronger bases in other communities, helping build leaders and educational supports in all communities.
- It supports the health of the Fort Smith economy - A strong economy in Fort Smith helps to balance the economic diversity in the North where other communities are based around a resource extraction economy. Fort Smith's economy is centred on education and the knowledge economy which stems from the educational programs offered in our community.
- It will grow the research capacity at the Thebacha Campus and foster innovation and research for the North
- It will provide opportunities for investment - It will create partnership and investment opportunities with southern universities looking to invest and do research in the North.
- It will diversify the Fort Smith economy and for the NWT through innovation - A university will drive innovation and support economic activity from the creation and sharing of ideas. Innovation and entrepreneurship skills provide students opportunities to compete in international markets.
- It will increase local economic activity - While Fort Smith looks for ways to diversify it's economy a university will provide direct and indirect opportunities for Fort Smith and the NWT. "The Conference Board of Canada’s research (shows that) over $40 billion in spending flows through Canada’s colleges and universities each year, which generates over $55 billion in economic activity after multiplier effects"
- Student spending will provide a direct benefit to the Fort Smith economy - A Polytechnic University in Fort Smith will be a boost to the local economy and improve the quality of life for Fort Smith residents. According to the Conference Board of Canada, "Off-campus student spending may generate a direct benefit to surrounding localities of up to $17.5 billion and about $1.9 billion in institution-related tourism spending"
- It will increase local jobs - Universities are staffed with a wide range of workers along with indirect jobs that service the university. "Almost 700,000 direct and indirect jobs are attributable to spending by post-secondary institutions", Conference Board of Canada.
- It will bring in extra funding - Northern research is an important part of the university and southern institutions, organizations and businesses will support a wide variety of northern research.
- It will bring Investment Opportunities - Universities can bring in large investments into civic infrastructure as the school, departments and programs grow, providing a positive effect for the community.
- It will improve the Quality of Life for residents and students - A successful university in Fort Smith would benefit everyone improving both social and economic opportunities.
Links to News and Information:
Aurora College transformation website - https://www.ece.gov.nt.ca/aurora-transformation/
University campus master plan - Cabin Radio article - https://cabinradio.ca/105457/news/yellowknife/whats-in-the-nwt-master-plan-for-your-university-campus/
Aurora College transformation team releases $500M plan for polytechnic campuses - CBC North article - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/aurora-college-transformation-500-million-plan-1.6594244
Conference Board of Canada releases report highlighting Polytechnic University benefits - Investing in Polytechnic Education in the Northwest Territories