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Ont. colleges to run Alfred ag campus

Two Ontario francophone colleges plan to step in to keep French-language agriculture and food science programming rolling at the University of Guelph’s Alfred campus — in certain cases as early as this fall.

Sudbury-based Le Collège Boréal and Ottawa-based La Cité announced last week they will partner with the U of Guelph, the provincial training, colleges and universities ministry, and eastern Ontario’s ag industry to continue classes at what today is known as Université de Guelph-Campus d’Alfred (UGCA).

The U of Guelph last week announced it will consolidate its agricultural academic and research operations at its Guelph and Ridgetown campuses by the end of 2015. [Related story]

Guelph’s intake of new students is to be suspended at the university’s Kemptville and Alfred campuses starting this fall, effectively ending the university’s delivery of academic programs at the two satellite campuses by the end of next year. Students already registered at both campuses through the U of Guelph will be able to complete their programs.

UGCA, based at Alfred, about 60 km east of Ottawa, has offered French-language study in the agriculture and agri-food sectors since 1981 and has been an arm of the University of Guelph since 1997.

“Together, we’ll be in a position to respond to the needs of the francophone community as far as quality agricultural training is concerned,” Collège Boréal president Pierre Riopel said in a release Thursday.

Le Collège Boréal — which has already run UGCA’s veterinary technician program for the past 15 years and now has 60 students in that program — said Thursday it’s received approval to offer admissions to those wishing to take ag and veterinary technology courses at Alfred starting in September this year.

La Cité said it has identified four fields of study in its 90-plus programs, including food and nutrition, health, trade training and business management, which could be adapted to the needs of UGCA students.

La Cité said it’s optimistic that by September 2015 it could have a new suite of programs in place at the Alfred campus.

La Cité’s president, Lise Bourgeois, said in a separate release the college is committed to work with other schools, “not just to provide similar programs, but to expand the educational offerings in agriculture and agri-food.”

Ontario’s francophone students, and particularly those in eastern Ontario, “have the right to access quality programs in their region,” she added. — Network


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