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U De Moncton Plans For The Future

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Université de Moncton, the university that serves the francophone Acadian minority in New Brunswick. High spirits prevailed during anniversary celebrations held June 19, but the university’s administrators know that the economic and demographic problems affecting the province pose a serious threat to the institution. At age 50, the university isn’t only looking at the past. It is also looking for solutions for the future.

U de M is collaborating with the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. The university is aware of the growing popularity of trade schools because of the increase in natural resource development and shipbuilding in neighbouring provinces. In September, U de M plans to offer a new bachelor’s degree in technology and leadership in collaboration with CCNB. The two-year program will target graduates of some engineering-related programs at the college.

During the 2012-13 academic year, several conferences were convened to explore the evolution of Université de Moncton and the Acadian community. Many members of that community showed up on June 19 for celebrations (held on all three campuses), to highlight U de M’s contribution to educating several generations of Acadian leaders. The rector, Raymond Théberge, spoke of the institution’s legacy, but he also took time to invite the academic community to think about reforms that could meet the challenges that U de M faces.

“We have, over the last year, celebrated [the university’s] great achievements in different ways,” said Mr. Théberge to the Moncton crowd. “I now invite all of you to participate in the planning process that I launched a month ago under the name Dare to Dream, so that we may better define the issues and the parameters affecting the university in the years to come.”