The University of the Fraser Valley celebrated 10 years in India over the weekend.
Students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and distinguished guests formed an audience of 700 for the annual awards ceremony, which has special significance in this milestone year. UFV opened its location at the 16.5-acre campus of Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College Chandigarh (GGDSD College) in 2006. UFV is the only Canadian university operating a campus in India.
“Ten years ago we brought one of Canada’s finest undergraduate universities into the heart of the Punjab,” says UFV President Dr. Mark Evered. “We are so grateful for the outstanding work of the faculty and staff who turned our vision into reality, for the support of our provincial government and the Canadian Consulate of northern India, and for the support of our friends and colleagues at GGDSD College. Together we take great pride in the success of our students and alumni.”
Evered adds, “UFV has built an education gateway between India and Canada to better prepare students for a world where success depends increasingly on international knowledge, experience, and collaboration.”
UFV’s Chandigarh campus grew to 250 students this year. With a focus on applied learning, students are enrolled in UFV’s Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Computer Information Systems, or post-degree certificate in Management. Students may complete their studies in India, or transfer between UFV Canada and India during their studies. The credits are transferable and recognized across North America. With close to 70 formidable student exchange partnerships around the world, students can opt for global exposure by doing a semester or two with UFV’s partner institutions.
The Fraser Valley region has the highest proportion of people with Indian descent in any Census Metropolitan Area in Canada. UFV’s main campus is located in the city of Abbotsford, which is also home to the oldest Sikh Temple in the western hemisphere. At over 100 years old, the temple is designated a Canadian National Historic Site.
“We launched a UFV campus in Chandigarh 10 years ago to strengthen ties between the Fraser Valley and the Punjab, and I am so proud to see how successful it has become,” says UFV President Emeritus Dr. Skip Bassford. “Canada’s rapidly growing communities of Indian descent are crucial to the economic, cultural, social and political spheres of our country. With our campus in Chandigarh, and our Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies in Abbotsford, UFV has become a vital bridge between India and Canada, and a tremendous leader in Canada-India relations.”
As part of the awards ceremony, President Evered is unveiling the UFV India founders plaque, honoring Dr. Skip Bassford, GGDSD College President Upkar Sharma, Prof. D.J. Sandhu and Prof. Lorne Mackenzie for their work to establish the Chandigarh campus.
Replete with state-of-the-art classrooms and computer labs, a student lounge and café, UFV Chandigarh has hosted a long list of dignitaries, including a Prime Minister of Canada, the federal Minister of International Trade & Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, two British Columbia Premiers and several cabinet ministers.
Now with more than 100 alumni who began their studies in India, the UFV Alumni Association launched the Chandigarh chapter earlier this year, UFV’s first international alumni chapter. The campus also launched a co-operative work experience program for students, as well as a second official transcript to validate student learning outside of the classroom.
UFV Canada has 15,000 students including 1000 international students from 50 countries, more than 35,000 alumni, and 1,500 employees. The multi-campus university offers more than 100 programs spanning certificates, diplomas and degrees in arts, science, health sciences, business, professional studies, trades, access, and upgrading.
UFV is a true flag bearer of Canadian education in India and swears by its tagline, ‘Canada’s best at your doorstep’.