Planning & Operational Context

Trends in Education and UBC’s Response

The following shows some of the trends in higher education today that affect UBC. Examples throughout this report demonstrate UBC’s responses to these trends.

Advances in Technology and new market entrants

Participation in key on-line consortia

Flexible learning initiatives

  • Flexible learning initiative is underway to blend undergraduate teaching and take advantage of opportunities in the professional and corporate segments.


  • Continue significant investments in information and learning management systems.


Student mobility – national and international

  • National recruitment strategy, established in 2007 has increased direct-entry student enrolment from other Canadian jurisdictions.
  • Go Global develops and facilitates international learning opportunities for UBC students through academic exchange, group study programs, research and service learning.
  • Continue developing strategic partnerships with international universities, increasing international learning opportunities for domestic students.

International students

  • Increase international students without displacing any domestic students
  • The International Student Initiative (ISI) recruits outstanding international students in undergraduate degree, diploma, and post-baccalaureate programs.
  • Open UBC Vantage College in 2014, providing a bridge to university.

Competition for faculty

  • Focus research and teaching partnerships with other global leading universities.

Knowledge development

  • Entrepreneurship@UBC helps researchers take their discoveries from the lab into everyday solutions.


Develop collaborative partnerships with other universities, government, public and private sectors

  • UBC as a Living Laboratory concept has created industry and community partnerships that address leading issues facing our communities; growing partnerships with civil society organizations re:  community service and public policy.

Investing in environment, economy and social justice

  • Continue to emphasize sustainability initiatives that integrate teaching, learning and research opportunities; drive operational decisions; and build on partnerships and collaborations.
  • The Peter Wall Solutions Initiative seeks more active knowledge transfer into our wider communities.


Challenges and UBC’s Response

The key challenges facing UBC include:

Economic Climate

Declining public funding

  • Engage with all levels of government and with the public on the social and economic impact of UBC.
  • Continue cost containment initiatives.
  • Develop additional revenue sources through federal funding, partnerships with industry and fundraising.

Need for BC to build a stronger knowledge-based economy

  • Expand and amplify UBC’s innovation strategy through multiple initiatives including UBC as a Living Laboratory, entrepreneurship@UBC, industry-friendly engagement processes and IP policies, partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Province on economic development.

Student Access

Financial constraints

  • Continue policy 72, which states no eligible student will be prevented from commencing or continuing his or her studies at the University for financial reasons alone.

Financial aid

  • Provide financial aid budget (currently over $50m) and increase if possible.

Housing affordability

  • Continue to implement the comprehensive housing affordability strategy.
  • Continue expansion of what already is the largest student housing portfolio in Canada.

Unstable national and international job market for North American graduates

Broad-based admission

  • Continue implementation of broad-based admissions for all students to attract and retain students who are the best fit for UBC.

Advising and student support

  • All students are assigned an enrolment service specialist who follows them through to graduation.
  • A learning plan is developed for each student.
  • Continue to enhance and develop student support initiatives.

Curriculum innovation

  • Ongoing curriculum innovation and incorporation of experiential learning opportunities for all students