Implementation Plan for Aurora College and polytechnic university Initial Areas of Teaching and Research Specialization Released

News Release

YELLOWKNIFE, NT -- Today the Government of the Northwest Territories released the Aurora College Transformation Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan) and the initial areas of teaching and research specialization for the polytechnic university.  The Implementation Plan outlines the path towards the establishment of a polytechnic university that will support the aspirations of Northerners, diversify the economy, and contribute to the long-term prosperity of the Northwest Territories.

The Implementation Plan identifies critical milestones that must be met in the right order and at the right time to keep the transformation on target and ensure overall success for the establishment of a polytechnic university.

Accompanying the release of the Implementation Plan is the launch of a new Aurora College Transformation website. This website enables residents to learn about the transformation, follow the progress being made through various dashboards and tracking tools, and provide feedback.

In addition to the Implementation Plan, initial areas of teaching and research for the polytechnic university were also released today. Feedback from Indigenous government partners, Aurora College employees, business, industry, post-secondary institutions, non-government organizations, and members of the public informed the four initial areas of teaching and research specialization.

Areas of specialization are important to the identity of a post-secondary institution as they indicate the institution’s teaching and research focus to current and prospective students, educators, researchers, funders and partners. As part of the transformation process, these areas of specialization will inform a wide range of changes that will help to ensure the polytechnic university is efficient, effective and sustainable.


“The transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university is one of the most promising ways we are preparing the Northwest Territories and our residents for future prosperity. As the institution emerges from transformation it will be stronger and more accessible, able to attract a greater number of students from within the NWT and beyond, and provide lasting economic benefits to territory and our people.”
- R. J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • Initial Areas of Teaching and Research Specialization for the polytechnic university are:
    • Skilled trades and technology
    • Earth resources and environmental management
    • Northern health, education and community services
    • Business and leadership
  • The establishment of a polytechnic university in the Northwest Territories is a GNWT mandate item. 
  • 78% of jobs identified in Skills for Success jobs-in-demand 15-year forecast require a post-secondary institution

Related links

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Cabinet Communications

Government of the Northwest Territories