University of the Fraser Valley

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University of the Fraser Valley
Established 1974[1]
Type Public university
Chancellor Brian Minter[2]
President Dr. Mark D. Evered[3]
Academic staff
710[4] (c. 2012)
Students 15,176 (c. 2012)
Location Canada Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Hope & Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban, 26 ha (64 acres) (Abbotsford)
Colours      Green
Nickname UFV Cascades
Mascot Sasq 'ets
Affiliations CIS
File:UFV Logo.svg

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), (formerly known as University College of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Valley College) is a Canadian public university with campuses in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Hope, British Columbia. Founded in 1974 as Fraser Valley College, it was a response to the need for expanded vocational training in the communities of the Fraser Valley. In 1988, it became a university college, with degree-granting status.[5] As the University College of the Fraser Valley, it grew rapidly, becoming one of the largest university colleges in Canada.

In recognition of the growing needs for higher education within the region and in the province, the provincial government granted full university status on 21 April 2008.[6] Student enrollment is now over 15,000 students annually.

In the 2010 The Globe and Mail Canadian University Report, UFV earned the most "A Range" grades of any post-secondary institution in British Columbia, receiving A grades in quality of education, student-faculty interaction, and ease of registration.[7][8]



In the 1960s, citizens of the Fraser Valley demanded a post-secondary educational facility within the Fraser Valley. In 1966, a proposal was rejected by the provincial government to found a junior college. Not to be swayed by this early defeat, supporters who wanted post-secondary representation lobbied to have a vocational school built. The proposed site for this vocational school was to be near the geographical centre of the Fraser Valley, on Lickman Road in Chilliwack. This proposal passed, and plans for the school were put into motion. However, with the election of a new provincial government in 1972, the school's development was put on hold. Communities again lobbied for continuation of this project, and so a special task force was appointed by the government to study the feasibility of a college in the Fraser Valley.

The task force recommended a comprehensive regional college, providing university transfer, career and vocational programs. A plebiscite was proposed to ask for taxpayer support on this endeavour, and passed with 89% in favour. In reaction to this strong show of support, the provincial government announced the establishment of Fraser Valley College on April 4, 1974.

Only a few months of planning went into the new college before it opened its doors in September 1974. Since no new facilities had yet been built, classes were held in church basements, public schools, commercially rented spaces, and the Coqualeetza Education Centre. Offices were set up in store fronts, community centres, and designated sections of public schools and school board offices. During its first year, Fraser Valley College enrolled 183 full-time and over 2,300 part-time students.


With student and community support, the provincial government approved university college status for some institutions. Three community colleges were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees following a 1988 government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia. Three institutions: Malaspina, Cariboo, Okanagan were renamed university colleges. Fraser Valley College received university-college status in 1991 (July 3) after an intense community campaign advocating for third- and fourth-year programming for the Fraser Valley.

In September 1991, the administrative Board officially changed its name to the University College of the Fraser Valley. Initially, the university colleges offered degrees under the aegis of one or more of four provincial universities (Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria) and the Open University. In 1994, the University College of the Fraser Valley established an undergraduate degree in adult education. In 1995 they were awarded the authority to grant degrees in their own right. [9]

University status

On April 21, 2008, the Provincial Government announced its intention to amend the University Act at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to upgrade UCFV into a full university, called University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).[10] The legislation renaming the University College to University received Royal Assent on May 29, 2008.[11] The university officially began operation under the new name on September 1, 2008. The University of the Fraser Valley is presented ranked as the 75th best university in Canada and the 4641st best university worldwide.

Governance and academics

The administration of UFV, as mandated by the University Act, is composed of a chancellor, convocation, board, senate, and faculties of the university.[12] The Board of Governors is responsible for the management of property and revenue, while the Senate is vested with managing the academic operation of the university. Both are composed of faculty and students who are elected to the position. Degrees and diplomas are conferred by the convocation, which is composed of alumni, administrators, and faculty, with a quorum of twenty members. UFV also has a President, who is a chief executive officer of the university and a member of the Senate, Board of Governors, Convocation, and also serves as Vice Chancellor. The President of the University is responsible for managing the academic operation of the university, including recommending appointments, calling meetings of faculties, and establishing committees.

Faculties and schools

UFV's academic activity is organized into "faculties", and "schools".[13] Currently, the university has five faculties and three schools. The Faculty of Arts is the largest faculty with sixteen departments, closely followed by the Faculty of Trades and Technology while the Faculty of Science has eight departments.


UFV is home to ten research centres and institutes;[14] additionally, the Chilliwack Campus is the site of the new BC Centre of Excellence for Agriculture. Much of the research conducted at UFV, in particular through the activities of centres such as the Agriburban Research Centre and the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, focuses on issues of regional concern.

There are two Canada Research Chairs at UFV: Dr. Lenore Newman holds the Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment, and Dr. Hugh Brodie holds the Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies. Additionally, Dr. Irwin Cohen holds an RCMP Senior Research Chair in Crime Reduction.

UFV is designated a Special Purpose, Teaching University under the University Act, with a mandate to focus on regional undergraduate education. However, faculty members are also actively engaged in research, and UFV places major emphasis on providing research opportunities for undergraduate students and training in research skills. Students have opportunities to apply for grants and lead research projects, to co-author papers with professors, and to present papers at international conferences.[15] UFV also promotes and recognizes student research through its Undergraduate Research Excellence Award program.[16]


In 2009/2010, the UFV individual student count (including Continuing Studies) was 15,446, including approximately 13,000 mainly undergraduate students. UFV's region has a rapidly expanding population that totaled 257,031 in 2006.[17] Enrollment continues to grow. UFV exceeded the Ministry of Higher Education and Labour Market Development's funded target for 2009/10 of 6,859 student spaces by 104%.[18]


Operating funding for UFV has increased by $19.8 million, from $33.5 million in 2001/02 to $53.3 million in 2010/11 – a 59.1 per cent increase.[19]


UFV offers master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations across a wide range of programs in fine arts, humanities, science, social sciences, applied communication, business, nursing, as well as technical and trade programs.

Program transferability

UFV offers many transferable courses to other educational institutions, which often lead to direct transfers into second-year or third-year studies at other post secondary institutions. To aid in this, UFV is a part of the BC Transfer Guide Website, an online resource for planning and understanding transfer in the BC post-secondary education system.


File:UCFV Library.JPG
Abbotsford campus library


The Abbotsford campus was UFV's first permanent campus, which opened its doors in 1983. A new building, containing the main institution library, First Heritage Computer Access Centre, and other instructional and support areas, was opened in the fall of 1996. In 1997, D Building, featuring classrooms, laboratories, and offices was opened. In 2002, the student activity centre and first gymnasium were opened. 2007 brought the opening of UFV's first student residence -- Baker House, as well as an expanded gymnasium facility, with the ability to seat 1,500 people.

In 1978, trades programs started with a carpentry program. Initially, this program was run from Portage Avenue in Chilliwack. At the time, the land belonged to the Chilliwack School District, and the Ministry of Advanced Education funded the building of the carpentry shop. Originally, this shop was supposed to be handed over to the Chilliwack School District after 5 years, but it took nearly 12 years to secure the funding to build a replacement shop in Abbotsford. Other trades programs were based at the Abbotsford campus in Building C. In 1991, UCFV moved all trades programs to the Abbotsford campus. In 2007, UFV Trades and Technology programs moved into newly renovated facilities at the new Canada Education Park on the former Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack. Most programs and services based in Chilliwack moved to the new campus at CEP in 2012.

Chilliwack Yale Road campus (aka Chilliwack North)

New campus at Canada Education Park

Originally designed to last 5 years, a temporary campus was constructed in Chilliwack in 1975. This building was used until 2012, having gone under a series of renovations over the years.[needs update] In 1986, an agriculture technology centre opened. In 1992, a new health sciences building opened. In the fall of 1996, a multipurpose complex and theatre opened. Plans for a new library, and additional sciences labs, classrooms and faculty offices at the Chilliwack campus were abandoned in favour of a crosstown move to the former Canadian Forces Base and most of the Yale Road campus facilities were relocated to Canada Education Park (CEP) by 2012.

The Chilliwack North campus offers courses on theatre, agriculture, and nursing. For example, the Agriculture Technology Diploma is offered on the Chilliwack campus. Some courses in philosophy, computer information systems, early childhood development, and business are also offered.[20] The Theatre Department produces three mainstage productions every season with a tradition of producing one Shakespeare and one Canadian play every year.[21] The department is also host to a Directors' Festival featuring shows from universities all over British Columbia.[22] Since 1980, the FVC/UCFV/UFV Theatre Department has put on 90+ productions with over 2,000 performances attended by 190,000+.[23] The current season is The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (November 2013), The Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths (January 2014), and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.[needs update]

Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park

The South Chilliwack Campus is located at Canada Education Park (CEP). It houses the Trades and Technology Centre, which opened in 2009, the Faculty of Health Sciences building and the Agriculture Centre of Excellence, which opened in May and September 2012 respectively.[24]

UFV Five Corners

In 2012, the university announced plans to open a satellite campus with a focus on programming related to business development and training in the Five Corners neighbourhood in Downtown Chilliwack. UFV Five Corners is located in a building donated to the university by Bank of Montreal.[25]


The Hope centre is a regional centre, run in partnership with the Fraser-Cascade school district.


In 1975, a temporary campus was established in Mission, offering continuing education and adult basic education programs. In 1996, UFV and the Mission School District partnered to open the Heritage Park Centre. This centre acts as a UFV campus, high school, community theatre and fitness centre, all contained within a single facility.

Chandigarh, India

UFV partners with Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College Chandigarh (SDCC), an affiliate of Panjab University, for the delivery of a Canadian Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program on a small campus in Chandigarh, India to Indian students.[26]

Student life

Student representation

Students at UFV are represented by the Student Union Society (SUS).[27] It exists to improve the quality of the educational, social, and personal lives of UFV students. The SUS Board of Directors is made up of three executive officers and up to eight representatives from the various faculties. The executive is composed of the President, Vice President Internal, Vice President External. The eight representatives previously mentioned represent the various faculties at the school, and there are also seats on the Board of Directors for student representatives from the UFV Board of Governors and Senate, and non-voting seats for the two other societies on the campus, the campus radio station and campus newspaper. Collectively, the SUS Board of Directors is responsible for providing a liaison between the SUS and the UFV Administration, providing services, such as the SUS Health and Dental Plan and U-Pass Program, supporting and administering student groups, and planning and implementation of events and activities for the enjoyment UFV. The Student Union Society is also a founding member of the Alliance of British Columbia Students, and a member of the Canadian Alliance of Students, both of whom advocate for post-secondary students at the provincial and federal level respectively.

In partnership with UFV, SUS launched a shuttle bus program to transport students for free between the Chilliwack, Trades and Technology, and Abbotsford campuses, which started with the Fall 2013 semester.[28] Students are assessed a fee of $6.75 per semester, and have unlimited use of the bus, which runs from 6:30am to 11:25pm. UFV Staff can also use the shuttle if space is available.

File:UCFV snowing.JPG
A snowy Abbotsford library

Most major departments are also represented by one student association, such as the Biology & Chemistry Student Association, Business Administration Student Association, Nursing Students Association, and the Theatre Students Association. These student associations are composed of members from that particular major. Students can also create clubs to cater to a specific interest area. Both associations and clubs are independent, but must register annually with SUS.


UFV is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the UFV Cascades. The Envision Athletic Centre houses two gymnasiums, a fitness centre and change rooms.[29]

In more than 25 years of varsity athletics, UFV has boasted a track record as one of the most decorated post-secondary athletic programs in the nation.[30] The Cascades have amassed a total of three national championships, 15 provincial championships, and have seen 129 student-athletes named provincial all-stars.

The UFV men’s basketball team captured the school’s first-ever national title in 2000 and went on to take the title again in 2002 and 2004, giving them three national championships in a five-year span. The women’s basketball team won five straight provincial championships, bringing their all-time total to ten.[citation needed]

UFV also offers non-competitive sports provided by clubs such as hip-hop dance, badminton, and cricket.


Opened in 2007, UFV has one student residence, Baker House, on the Abbotsford campus. It houses 102 suites with 204 bedrooms.[31] Every suite contains a microwave and minifridge, however meal plans can be purchased for $2,000, $1,500, or $1,000.[32]

Student media

Notable professors

See also


  1. An Overview of B.C.'s Public Post-secondary Institutions
  2. UFV names Minter as first chancellor
  3. UFV Board of Governors
  4. UFV Factbook
  5. The Canadian Encyclopedia University College
  9. University College
  10. BC Ministry of Advanced Education
  11. Queen's Printer, Victoria. Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia 4th Session, 38th Parliament, May 29, 2008. Retrieved on: December 12, 2010
  14. "Centres and Institutes". University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "UFV Research at a Glance". University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Undergrad Research Excellence Award". University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "2006 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2010-12-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "University of the Fraser Valley Factsheet – Aug 2010" (PDF). Government of BC. Retrieved 2010-12-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "UFV opens new building at Canada Education Park in Chilliwack". UFV Today. University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved 2 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "UFV announces downtown Chilliwack location". Chilliwack Progress. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. UCFV launches industry-focused BBA degree in Chandigarh, India

External links