Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is BramptonU?

Right now, BramptonU is a movement, a process to bring a full university to Brampton. It is building on the excellence of our existing partners and other universities in Ontario and around the world to meet the needs of Brampton residents and businesses.

Brampton is one of Canada’s fastest-growing and youngest cities. We are home to world-renowned businesses, looking for skilled workers to fill jobs today, and anticipating needs for the jobs of tomorrow. We need to ensure we develop and retain our home grown talent. More postsecondary education opportunities is key to building an economically, socially and environmentally vibrant city.

The goal for BramptonU is to transform it from a process into a living, breathing university, offering leading undergraduate and graduate degrees in skills to prepare for in-demand jobs of the future.

What’s behind this new approach for BramptonU? What was done to bring the City to this point?

With a priority to bring a full university to Brampton, the City commissioned research and development work over the Summer of 2019 to explore new options to achieve this goal. The work looked at how a large “university of the future” could grow in Ontario, and specifically in Brampton. The result was new, and in some cases commercially sensitive, ideas around governance, academic, business, staffing and financial models that outlined an alternative path forward. The Province was very open to this new approach, and welcomed a more specific business case.

The work underway now was initiated by decisions of Council as outlined in a September 2019 media release.

  • An RFP was issued for Academic Engagement and Planning – essentially working with academic and institutional partners to develop possible programming for BRamptonU
  • An RFP was issued Stakeholder Engagement – which is focused on advocacy with the Province and local stakeholders, as well as more general local business and resident engagement

The consultants hired (the Academy for Sustainable Innovation and Stakeholder Research Associates) are bringing expertise in higher education, stakeholder consultation and provincial policy-making. Our goal is to develop a full business case for the Province in the Spring of 2020.

Why has the City hired consultants to support further planning for Brampton University?

Brampton is one of Canada’s fastest-growing and youngest cities. More postsecondary education opportunities for our residents is key to delivering on our 2040 vision for an economically, socially and environmentally vibrant city. We are home to world-renowned businesses who are looking for skilled workers to fill jobs today, and anticipating needs for the jobs of tomorrow. BramptonU will ensure that we can develop and retain homegrown talent.

The City hired consultants to support academic and policy-related questions that require expertise in higher education, stakeholder consultation and provincial policy-making. The Academy for Sustainable Innovation will look at academic planning and partnership development and Stakeholder Research Associates who will look at stakeholder engagement, including residents, businesses, community groups and other levels of government.

How will the City build on existing relationships with Ryerson University, Algoma University and Sheridan College?

The City continues to build on its long-term relationships with our Brampton-based postsecondary partners, including Ryerson University, Algoma University and Sheridan College. These are all recognized and well-respected institutions that have invested in and are growing in Brampton.

Building on the great work already accomplished with these institutions, we are exploring all available options to bring a full university to Brampton. We are looking at a new approach to provide more postsecondary options in Brampton that meet the current and future needs of our residents, students, and businesses.

For more information on Brampton’s postsecondary-related projects, including the new Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, Ryerson’s continuing education programs in the downtown, Algoma University’s expansion and more, visit www.brampton.ca/downtownbrampton

What will the consultants do that hasn’t been done before?

The City has done a significant amount of work related to postsecondary education in Brampton. Building on this solid foundation of knowledge and partnerships, the consultants will explore options for establishing and building BramptonU.

The consultants will bring expertise in higher education, stakeholder consultation and provincial policy-making. The Academy for Sustainable Innovation will look at academic planning and partnership development and Stakeholder Research Associates who will look at stakeholder engagement, including residents, businesses, community groups and other levels of government.

When will the business case be complete?

The majority of the analysis will be complete by early spring of 2020, to coincide with the Province’s budget planning timelines. The business case will form part of a ‘Blueprint’ we will release in late spring of 2020, and include details on:

 

  • Governance
  • Academic planning
  • The business model (including Provincial support for student choice)
  • Financing
  • Human resources
  • Real estate

Is the Action Committee on Postsecondary Education involved in this?

City staff will be consulting the Committee as we move forward. Members of this Committee represent many of the groups and institutions that we hope can play an important role in the partnerships we need to build a business case, advocate with the Province, and plan for governance and develop programming.

Why is the City going in this direction now?

The City is building on positive news from the Province. At the recent Association of Municipalities Ontario conference, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities showed interest and support for the City’s proposed solutions related to establishing BramptonU. The Province also indicated its openness to innovative solutions that focus on training for the skills of the future while acknowledging current economic constraints faced by the Ontario Government.

Prabmeet Sarkaria, MPP Brampton South and Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, along with Amarjot Sandhu, MPP Brampton West, are both supportive of the City’s proposal and are working with Council, City staff and Ministry officials to move the discussions forward.  

In the City’s September 2019 press release, MPP Sarkaria said: “I look forward to working with Parliamentary Assistant David Piccini and his team at the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities to continue thoughtful discussions with the City of Brampton on their university proposal.”

Where in the City’s current budget is the money for this coming from

The City has set aside up to $300,000 from the budget of the Chief Administrative Officer. This amount includes the production of a ‘Blueprint’ for bringing BramptonU into existence.

The City just invested nearly $8 million in supporting Algoma’s expansion plans. Is the City diluting its efforts in developing BramptonU?

Brampton needs more postsecondary options to meet the needs of our residents, students, and businesses.

We are excited by the current and growing postsecondary opportunities in Brampton. Building on this, our goal is to bring more choice, complementary to existing programs available. We want to build partnerships that offer our residents a wide range of university programs that can train people for the jobs of tomorrow across a number of different fields.

How will this new process unfold?

The City now has consultants contracted to deliver in several key areas, including:

  • Developing public and private partnerships to build and maintain technologically advanced learning spaces and associated green buildings for BramptonU and potential student housing
  • Advocacy efforts at the Provincial and Federal levels of government to obtain support for the establishment of BramptonU
  • Identify programming that reflects the demands of the future economy.

City staff will work closely with the consultants to help guide the project.

The goal is to ensure a positive decision by the Province that legislates the establishment of BramptonU and commits resources to develop and maintain the university, consistent with current provincial funding practices.

What is the new model for BramptonU?

Many of the world’s best universities came into being because of the vision of municipal and civic leaders. With Brampton City Council’s leadership and support of the Government of Ontario, this new model aims to provide:

 

  • The most employable and future-focused graduates in Canada
  • Totally flexible 24/7/365 availability of education (classroom, on-line and blended), so students of any age can learn while maintaining job or care commitments
  • The most affordable tuition in Ontario
  • Active integration with existing postsecondary education programs
  • Active support for local issues related to economic development, immigration and investment
  • Active support for deep community and cultural connections: libraries, theatres, entertainment venues and sport facilities
  • Active support for entrepreneurial connectivity
  • Climate compliant and technology-rich buildings, operations and transit

Who will manage the operations of the university?

As the project evolves and partnerships form, decisions will be made around program delivery and governance options, in consultation with the Province and all stakeholders. Our goal is for the Province to establish BramptonU as a public university with its own Act of the Provincial Legislature, which means that it will have its own Board of Governors and academic decision-making powers.

How will be the Province be involved?

The Province makes the final decision to develop and launch a new public university. The City will work closely with the Province to advocate for BramptonU, clearly laying out the economic and social benefits of investment, and showing that we are building the right partnerships to ensure success.

Will my property taxes go up?

We are currently funding this project from existing approved budgets. As more investment is required, we plan to have established partnerships and committed funding from the Province to limit the impact on the City. We are looking to build a business model for the university that is entirely self-funding over time and results in no net increase in spending by the Province or the City.

In addition, we know that universities bring significant economic benefits – including new revenue opportunities and new business that can increase the City’s commercial tax base. Benefits like these reduce the burden on residential taxpayers.

How can I get involved?

  1. Residents may attend and contribute to public meetings. A representative sample of residents will also be asked to participate in a public opinion survey. Residents can register for updates and provide feedback
  2. Community organisations will be invited to host specific public events or request webinars.
  3. Employers will be invited to attend at least one public event and will be able to attend webinars.

For Students

Will the programming be online or in-class?

Programming will be in-class, online and in blended formats (i.e. both in-class and on-line). BramptonU will deliver on international best practices, recognizing:

 

  • The types of work and required skills in the future economy
  • The needs of local employers and potential investors
  • Seamless integration with other forms of postsecondary education
  • The specific skills needed for particular or specialized employment routes as required by employers (including small businesses and start-ups) to maximize employability and career resilience
  • Different formats of learning, including face to face, online and blended in order to maximize flexibility for students
  • The value of work integration and/or community-based service learning
  • The multi-cultural, entrepreneurial and dynamic nature of Brampton as a place to live, work and prosper

Where will the university be located?

No decisions on locations have been made at this time. In line with Brampton’s 2040 Vision and plans to develop and revitalize Brampton’s core, a downtown location is a great option.

There are other options to explore. BramptonU could be developed around campus ‘hubs,’ each with its own transit and distinct academic identity.

And BramptonU could be connected with satellite sites to key city developments like the development of an innovation district downtown, feeder sites at existing City facilities connected to language or International Business programs at high schools, developed around an environmentally-inspired Riverwalk project, or a medical technology park connected to healthcare facilities.

There are multiple natural connections with other exciting innovation and education projects, and opportunities for easy transit access from within Brampton and along the Innovation Corridor.

How will degrees offered through BramptonU be accredited?

All university degrees in Ontario need approval by the provincial government. We are just starting to explore programming partnerships and options – with the long-term intention to build a comprehensive university that offers provincially accredited undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

We anticipate that initially, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will be offered by Canadian and international universities through partnership arrangements. Once BramptonU is established, it will also offer credentials of its own.

Who will deliver the programs?

As the project evolves and partnerships form, decisions will be made around program delivery and governance options, in consultation with the Province and all stakeholders.

What kind of programs will BramptonU offer?

As the project evolves and partnerships form, specific decisions will be made around programming. We are home to world-renowned businesses who are looking for skilled workers to fill jobs today, and anticipating needs for the jobs of tomorrow. BramptonU will ensure that we can develop and retain homegrown talent. Our goal is for BramptonU graduates to be uniquely qualified to build their lives and careers based on the knowledge and experience they gain here.

What will I gain from BramptonU that differs from existing universities such as Toronto or Waterloo?

We are committed to building the right partnerships, and offering the right kind of programming that will be unique to BramptonU. It is entirely possible that these schools and other internationally renowned universities will want to partner with BramptonU.

BramptonU will offer innovative and accessible education models to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, across a range of fields of study. Our programs will also explicitly address the need to build a low carbon, technologically-driven and socially inclusive world.

How much will it cost to study here?

We anticipate tuition costs will be lower than for other public Ontario universities. We will be able to share more information as the process unfolds.

Will it be a private university?

No. BramptonU will be a public university established by an Act of the Ontario Legislature.

For Academic Partners

What is the process to partner with BramptonU?

The City hired The Academy for Sustainable Innovation (ASI) to engage with universities across Ontario, Canada, and internationally to establish partnerships that will ensure Brampton residents and other Ontario students benefit from the highest quality, most flexible, relevant and accessible education available. Starting in November and continuing through December 2019, ASI will reach out to existing partners of the City of Brampton, all Ontario universities, and then selected leading universities in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand to explore partnership opportunities with BramptonU.

ASI will produce a ‘long list’ of potential partners and programs that would be especially interesting to Brampton residents and the Province of Ontario. A ‘short list’ based on criteria to be agreed on by the City and the Province of Ontario will follow.

No-obligation, non-binding memorandum of understandings (MoUs) will be developed with shortlisted partners and programs prior to March 2020. Then, subject to decisions by potential partners and the City and the Province, these MoUs turn into more formal agreements and commitments for future delivery of programs in Brampton. These will be subject to clear quality assurance, financial and human resourcing arrangements.

How will non-Ontario-based institutions get a licence from the Province of Ontario to offer their programs?

The Province of Ontario has made clear its intention to reduce red tape associated with approvals of programs offered in Ontario that are of interest to the people and the future economic competitiveness of the province.

We will be proposing the highest standards of quality assurance for programs that will match the expectations of the Province of Ontario and meet international standards. We will work with non-Ontario institutions and the Province of Ontario to ensure smooth accreditation of programs hosted by BramptonU.

Will partner institutions be offering just the program or the degree itself?

Universities offering their degrees in Brampton will oversee their own criteria for excellence in teaching, including quality assurance for any teaching roles for their programs.

BramptonU will support the hiring of staff and be willing to put them on permanent contracts. Partner universities will confer credentials.

When BramptonU is legally established, it will develop its own degrees and confer them in the usual way.

How long will the arrangements last?

BramptonU will be seeking to enter into ten year, renewable arrangements with partner institutions, subject to satisfaction with progress on both sides.

How will programs be marketed?

Brampton is ideally located to attract students from Ontario, Canada, the US and the rest of the world.

As part of the Greater Toronto Area, Brampton offers all of the cultural and social desirability of studying in one of the most multi-cultural and safe environments in North America. Brampton is next door to Canada’s largest international airport and enjoys excellent transportation connections to the rest of North America.

BramptonU will work actively with partner universities to market programs and attract top students from the City and elsewhere. Marketing and student recruitment arrangements will be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

Why has the City hired consultants to support further planning for Brampton University?

Brampton is one of Canada’s fastest-growing and youngest cities. More postsecondary education opportunities for our residents is key to delivering on our 2040 vision for an economically, socially and environmentally vibrant city. We are home to world-renowned businesses who are looking for skilled workers to fill jobs today, and anticipating needs for the jobs of tomorrow. BramptonU will ensure that we can develop and retain homegrown talent.

The City hired consultants to support academic and policy-related questions that require expertise in higher education, stakeholder consultation and provincial policy-making. The Academy for Sustainable Innovation will look at academic planning and partnership development and Stakeholder Research Associates who will look at stakeholder engagement, including residents, businesses, community groups and other levels of government.

What will be the cost and revenue sharing model?

Costs and revenues will be shared on a case-by-case basis and will flow directly from the marketability and pricing of the program(s) together with a range of other factors including mode of delivery, human resourcing and student support needs (library, student health and well-being, language support etc).

What facilities will be available for teaching?

BramptonU is committed to providing world-class teaching spaces and support for online learning in technologically advanced and ‘green’ settings in Brampton. There are multiple location opportunities to be explored, that could involve retrofitting of existing buildings or commissioning of new buildings