Collège Boréal to offer French university programs at new Toronto campus

Collège Boréal is partnering with five universities to offer more French-language post secondary education. The college plans to offer university courses from its future campus in Toronto's Distillery District, due to open in 2021.

French college partnering with 5 universities to offer degree programs for Boréal graduates

Collège Boréal has partnered with five universities to offer degree-level French programming from its Toronto campus, once the new permanent site is complete in the Distillery District, likely in 2021. (Radio-Canada )

Graduates of Collège Boréal could soon be able to fast-track a university degree completely in French.

The college has established partnerships with five universities to offer French-language university programs at its Toronto campus, slated to open in 2021.

The partners are Laurentian University in Sudbury, Glendon College at York University, Saint Paul University in Ottawa, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Moncton in New Brunswick.

The partnerships will allow Boreal graduates to easily transition to university in whatever career field they choose, says college president Daniel Giroux.

College Boreal President Daniel Giroux expects to deliver a balanced budget this spring with a January influx of older students looking to be re-trained. (Francis Ferland/Radio-Canada)

The issue first came up while school officials were conducting consultations prior to their five year strategic plan in 2015.

Giroux says they heard from students and graduates that they wanted to be able to continue on with university-level education after graduating from Boreal, but there weren't options for degrees completely in French.

He says they heard similar comments from employers about wanting French-speaking employees who had both a hands-on diploma from college and a university degree.

With the university partners, students who've completed their diploma programs from Collège Boréal can fast-track their first two years when transferring over to university.

Demand in south

Giroux says there is a huge demand for French university programming in southern Ontario.

He says potential students from that region don't always want to move to northern Ontario to pursue post secondary education in French.

"That's a challenge for us."

"A lot of times what's happening is when those programs are not available en Francais, they will proceed with Anglophone programs," he said.

Boréal's university-level programming will be available once its new permanent campus in Toronto's Distillery District is finished.

That is expected to be completed by September, 2021.

Collège Boréal has had a campus in Toronto since 2002, but that's been located at five different temporary sites, including its current spot in a high rise on Young Street.

Not connected to Ontario's stalled Francophone university

Giroux says the decision to offer French language university programming is not connected to the stalled plans for a Francophone university for Ontario.

The province halted funding to that project last fall.

"The Francophone university in the first phase was planning on four programs."

"The number of university programs offered in southwestern Ontario and Toronto are a much much higher level of numbers. So we want to give a bigger amount of access to a maximum amount of programs and it obviously needs multiple university, Francophone university partners."

Giroux says at this point the programs will be offered in Toronto, but they're looking to eventually offering the university courses at other Boréal sites using online learning tools.

With files from Angela Gemmill


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