The Sunshine Coast deserves its own higher education institution.
Two separate post-secondary campuses currently exist along the Sunshine Coast Highway: a Capilano University campus in Sechelt and a Vancouver Island University campus in Powell River. In both cases, these regional campuses act more as access points to more centralized main campuses in North Vancouver and Nanaimo respectively.
This may have made some sense when CapU and VIU were small colleges. Both have since transitioned to universities. Sunshine Coast residents should consider advocating and organization for the creation of a college or university that would serve the growing population between Langdale and Lund. This region has a distinctive history, Indigenous culture, economy, and set of educational needs.
Many regions of B.C. with smaller populations already have their own colleges. Why should this region be divided between two satellite campuses, each operated as tertiary concerns by universities across the water?
Trades education, four-year degrees, and research on matters of importance to the Sunshine Coast would be better addressed by a local college or university. I have studied and taught about the history of college and university creation in B.C. In most cases, grassroots action has led to rapid development of cherished institutions.
We should call on the province for change. The Sunshine Coast should have its own university, or at the very least a college.
Jed Anderson, Sechelt