This Academic Plan comes at an exciting and challenging time in Higher Education. The field is globalizing and specializing at the same time. It is being called on to better prepare people for the workforce and still be a place where students can come to find themselves. The development of our Academic Plan also comes at an interesting time in the history of the University of Prince Edward Island. We have evolved from a local liberal arts university mainly serving students from the Island, to one that accepts students from around the globe to an increasing array of professional and graduate programs. We are embracing these changes while committing ourselves to that island context that makes us who we are. We think this balance is at the heart of who we are.
The strength of UPEI is in its people and in its unique position as Prince Edward Island’s only university. We see our academic mission as both being true to our heritage but also recognizing our emergence as a small comprehensive university. We have long had strong core offerings in Arts, Science, and Business as well as our professional programs in Nursing, Education and Veterinary Medicine. These have helped shape not only who we are but also the direction of our new offerings: study and research in aquaculture, kinesiology, climatology/erosion, nutrition, early childhood education, leadership and entrepreneurship, economic sustainability, health care, business acumen and veterinary medicine. The new Sustainable Design Engineering degree, for instance, is building upon an engineering diploma with over a 40-year history at UPEI. We are a campus where you can learn and contribute as a scholar, get to know your community, and have a wide variety of program options. It is this balance between our island way of life and our commitment to learning, research, and service that makes us a special place to work and study.
Given that we are the only university in the province, we are uniquely situated to address/respond to government priorities and community societal needs. We have significant local impact and are an economic engine for the Island. We have global reach. We have a commitment to support all our cultural communities, including continuing to work alongside our Aboriginal partners to contribute to the reconciliation process through higher learning. We have a responsibility to PEI to provide a high quality learning experience, and we have purposefully chosen to look off-Island, and internationally, to further enrich our own community and to bring our work to the world.
The UPEI Academic Plan is a commitment to this balance.