Aurora College releases strategic plan to 2023

The NWT’s Aurora College on Tuesday published a strategic plan designed to guide the institution as it moves toward a planned transformation into a polytechnic university.

The three-year strategic plan, a 16-page document, sets out the college’s vision, values, and four “strategic pillars” to be followed between now and 2023.

What the college’s future will look like by 2023 is unclear. Though there is no definitive timeline, the switch to a polytechnic is currently anticipated some time around 2025 or 2026.


The new strategy promises the college will in the interim work toward establishing a university that creates equitable opportunities for residents across the Northwest Territories to reach their full potential.”

The strategic plan is not, however, the document that will guide how Aurora College becomes the as-yet unnamed polytechnic university.

That will instead be led by a separate document, entitled a transformation implementation plan, also due to be released this fall.

The college’s president, Andy Bevan, said there was “ongoing and meaningful engagement and careful planning” taking place for the transformation.

According to the college, 425 people were consulted as part of the strategic plan’s creation – a process that started in early 2019.


The finished strategic plan commits the college to “leadership in the delivery of relevant and meaningful education and research rooted in strong connections to northern land, tradition, community, and people.”

The four strategic pillars are academic and research excellence, a learning-centred environment, development of partnerships, and organizational effectiveness – defined by the college as “being open and accountable” with “the need for integrated planning, operational excellence, and continuous quality improvement.”

In recent weeks, the NWT government’s initial proposals for the polytechnic university have come under scrutiny – particularly from the City of Yellowknife.

In two letters to education minister RJ Simpson, Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty suggested the university’s planned governance model was flawed and its anticipated programming lacked ambition.