Laurentian University aims for French Services Act designation
Laurentian University is waiting for word on whether it meets the requirement for what is called “partial designation” under the French Services Act.
The Sudbury university offers a number of courses and degrees in French, however the official status would provide protection for those programs.
University vice-president of research and francophone affairs Patrice Sawyer said Laurentian started the process couple of years ago.
“In a way, it is a commitment from both us and the government ... that we are going to continue offering those services and those degrees,” she said, noting that a partial designation works better for LU.
“A full designation would mean that everything we offer in English is also offered in French and that is not in the cards for now.”
More than 30 programs at Laurentian are offered in French, and the equivalent of about 1,000 students attend those classes.
Laurentian’s French student association president Samatha Puchala said an official designation would help make sure the courses and degrees offered in French at Laurentian are consistent for students.
“If they are enrolled, sometimes they arrive, and we get a lot of complaints at our office, that the courses they were planning on taking won't always be offered in French,” she said. “There won't be enough students taking the class for it to be offered, so it will be cancelled.”
Puchala said students can do their degrees in French at Laurentian, but the options are sometimes limited.
“So they might even choose — even between themselves — to study in English because it might fit better with their timetable,” she said.
Puchala said the hope is the official designation would protect and enhance those programs.
A decision from the province is expected in the coming weeks or months, she said.