Langley university assessing Skills Blueprint

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, like every other post-secondary school in B.C., is responding to the new provincial Skills Blueprint.

The Skills Blueprint called for a big increase in the percentage of students studying for trades and technology courses, areas seen as in demand by employers.

Salvador Ferreras, Kwantlen’s provost and academic vice president, answered some of the Langley Advance’s questions about what that may mean for the future of the school and its students.

Ferreras noted that the collective response by B.C.’s schools was still taking shape along with the new provincial Skills Blueprint.

“The truth is that the 25 per cent that will eventually be directed is intended to encompass a scope much broader than just trades and technology,” Ferreras said. “The aim is to address high demand areas.”

Programs can’t quite be broken down entirely into liberal arts versus trades and technologies, noted Ferreras.

KPU prepares students in trades and technology programs, as well as health, business and sciences within its arts programs.

“If we were to identify how many courses would be considered trades and technology we need to include over 300 courses just in trades and technology alone,” Ferreras said of the current course offerings. “As a polytechnic university KPU has a particular focus on applied studies. Any calculation of what percentage of KPU courses would include dozens of non-trades programs and preparatory studies and many, many other courses.”

On whether the school will look at adding new courses or programs in the trades, Ferreras said KPU has been pursuing high-demand areas for the past few years and will keep doing that.

“The acceleration of investment by the Provincial government in post-secondary and secondary school support for trades training is a welcome boost that will inevitably create opportunities for expansion of delivery and for new programs,” he said.

There are no plans to clear the decks for new Blueprint-related courses by eliminating other programs.

“That being said, all universities and colleges regularly review, renew and alter programs and courses to ensure alignment with institutional priorities, student demand and to maintain currency in academic, applied and trades areas,” he said.

Student demand, while not the only factor, also plays a role in determining what courses are taught.

“We do not reduce or enlarge program capacity based entirely on the market as opposed to student demand,” said Ferreras.

The school also consults with its funders, industry, government, parents, administration, and faculty, as well as looking at what students want, he said.

Just Posted

National PTSD awareness ride rolling into Langley

The Rolling Barrage 2018 ride will arrive next Tuesday and overnight in Langley.

Bevy of remarkable birthdays celebrated in Aldergrove

Maudie MacPherson (age 101), Vera Banner (91) and Alice Utas (95)

Looking Back: August 16, 2018

Langley’s history, as told through the files of the Advance.

Throwback Thursday: August 16, 2018

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Langley’s Tbird preps to welcome Mounties for Musical Ride

The equestrian spectacle is coming to Langley Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read