'Five or six years' to complete new NWT university
The NWT's education minister expects the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university to be complete by 2025.
The announcement on Tuesday marks one of the first times the territorial government has suggested a planned date for the university's creation.
Last year's independent review of Aurora College, which initially recommended the introduction of a polytechnic university, had envisioned it launching in the fall of 2024 – a year Cochrane has mentioned once or twice in the past.
On Tuesday, providing a written update on planning work for the university, education minister Caroline Cochrane said: "The transformation process will take five to six years to complete, and we are already making progress and moving forward.
"We are focusing on meeting our milestones, and I look forward to keeping our partners, stakeholders and the public informed as we meet our goals."
More than 700 residents have provided feedback about what they'd like to see in an online survey, Cochrane said.
Her message recapped a series of "key themes" from that feedback – many of them predictable in nature – such as ensuring students are supported through the transition, creating programming "relevant to the North," and inspiring youth.
Now, the territorial government will recruit experts from other universities and colleges to form an advisory council; begin developing a new strategic plan for Aurora College as the transition looms; and prepare for that transformation to actually start, with a projected date of March 2020 for the first practical steps to be taken.