UBC Okanagan is a growing campus and continues to expand every year. In the span of 15 years alone, the campus has grown from a humble 3,500 students to currently 11,000 students attending. Therefore, it is necessary that UBCO take steps to accommodate this growing population.
That is exactly what Outlook 2040 was designed to consider. Outlook 2040 is an extensive and bold plan to add an additional 1 million square feet to UBCO over the span of the next two decades. The goal is to make UBCO a thriving community with over 20,000 students in 2040, and having the means to accommodate them all.
Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBCO, embraces this goal by saying “we plan for enrolment, we plan for budget, we plan for new buildings. We all have medium and short-term plans — and now we had a chance to think about connecting that to the longer term.”
This plan intends to create new residences, academic buildings and a larger athletic centre.
Furthermore, Outlook 2040 looks to create a 50-acre Innovation Precinct. This Precinct hopes to establish UBCO as a large research-led institution that allows UBC researchers to respond to pressing societal issues on a regional and global level.
This Precinct will be constructed in what is currently Parking Lot H and extends to behind Purcell residence. This area will include more residences, academic buildings and laboratories for research, a digital learning factory and complimentary amenities. All of this is complete with cutting-edge technology, green roofs and solar panels.
In addition to these constructions, UBCO thrives to “have established endowments that will bring funding per student and financial support on par with UBC Vancouver.” Also, UBCO hopes to “be a leader in Canada in the proportion of Indigenous faculty and students.”
Outlook 2040 is done in collaboration with numerous businesses including a partnership with the Okanagan Nation.
“We were founded in partnership with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, and that continues to be very formative for us and a major piece in the plan going forward. We plan to be a national leader with respect to Indigenization,” says Nicole Udzenija, Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan.
However bold this plan may be, it provides an invigorating picture for the future of our campus.