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Minister approves Aurora College to one day become polytechnic university

Aurora College's Fort Smith campus
Aurora College's Fort Smith campus. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Aurora College is one step closer to becoming a polytechnic university.

RJ Simpson, the territory’s education minister, has approved a formal request from the college to eventually become a polytechnic university.

A Monday press release said that means the territorial government is now shifting from leading the college’s transformation to a support role.

The minister has also directed his department to begin a quality assurance process with Campus Alberta Quality Council, which is required before Aurora College can formally become a polytechnic university. The release states that will ensure its programs meet Canadian standards, and that it has the necessary governance structure, policies regarding academic staff and physical space needed once it becomes a polytechnic university.

“I am glad to see this milestone met and want to congratulate Aurora College and GNWT staff who have supported transformation to date,” Simpson was quoted as saying. “This is an important initiative and I look forward to continuing to support its progression.”



Aurora College announced its new board of governors earlier this year, replacing a territorially appointed administrator who had overseen the college’s affairs since 2017.

The college plans to launch its first year of bachelor of social work and bachelor of education degrees in September 2024. General arts and sciences programs are also scheduled to begin that fall.

Clarification: August 1, 2023 – 1:49 MT. The wording in this article has been updated to clarify that the quality assurance process will ensure that Aurora College meets standards prior to receiving formal recognition as a polytechnic university.