Colleges partner to expand learning opportunities for NT students

Andy Bevan (left) at an MOU signing of cooperation between three NT colleges in September. File photo.
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Three northern postsecondary schools have joined together for an agreement to improve collaboration between NT’s colleges.

Aurora College, Collège nordique francophone, and Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, signed an agreement to formalize a collaborative relationship between them.

The agreement aims to build capacity to increase access to post-secondary programming and services in NT, and see collaboration on new projects and initiatives between the three schools.

Andy Bevan, the president of Aurora College said discussions about a partnership had been happening throughout the pandemic and gave opportunity for all three institutions to become more adaptable and cater to the changing needs of NT’s students and the job market.

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“It is the start of a dialogue, he said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of the dialogue but we have some relatively big ambitions,” he said. 

The three leaders from the school pictured with the agreement. Photo supplied by Bailey Moreton.

“I think there are opportunities of respected faculty to take advantage of different training opportunities and I don’t want to discount the possibility of students moving between all three institutions.”

Aurora College is currently transitioning into a polytechnic university, but the process will take several years and it is not clear how the change will impact the agreement.

“Putting the needs of our students at the heart of this agreement is key,” said Josée Clermont, executive director of Collège nordique francophone. “Expanding our services, for the Francophones, we are such a small population, we would not be able to do that alone.”

Dr. Kelsey Wrightson, executive director of the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, said that the signed agreement provides a basis for collaboration and expanding opportunities for students while “retaining the individual approaches” unique to each institution.

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“Every opportunity for collaboration and leveraging the respective institutional resources is an opportunity to see more Indigenous led programming in NWT.”

“Together we’re making tangible commitments to reconciliation,” she said.

The three colleges will meet again in six weeks to share their strategic goals for the partnerships and outline a future for the collaboration moving forwards.

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