Mandate Agreement between the GNWT and Aurora College Released

The Aurora College Mandate Agreement was released today by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). This agreement, between the GNWT and Aurora College, sets out the shared strategic priorities, the scope of activities, and measurements that will be reported by the College.

As part of Aurora College's new tricameral governance system, the institution is gradually moving towards becoming arm’s-length from government. Once established, the Aurora College Board of Governors, the Academic Council and the Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council will have different roles and responsibilities that together make recommendations on strategic direction, college operations, academics, and research.

The Aurora College Board of Governors will play an intermediary role between Aurora College and the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Using the Aurora College Mandate Agreement as a tool, they will steer the institution in a way that addresses both the unique needs of Aurora College and the public it serves.

The Aurora College Mandate Agreement will be in effect for approximately 18 months.  Future iterations will be in place for a longer duration, up to four years. The shorter timeframe will allow the Board to be established and provide a bridging period as transformation progresses.

Shared strategic priorities identified in the Aurora College Mandate Agreement include:

  • Establish a Polytechnic University
  • Implement a Tricameral Governance System
  • Increase Access to Post-Secondary Education
  • Develop New and Enhanced Programs
  • Facilitate Growth of Knowledge Economy
  • Contribute to the Economic and Social Development of NWT Communities



“A great deal of work has gone into the development of the Aurora College Mandate Agreement. As Minister Responsible for Post-Secondary Education,  I believe this will become an important tool to ensure the success of Aurora College as an arm’s-length institution, and the future of post-secondary education across the Northwest Territories as we continue to work together to transform the College to a polytechnic university.”

R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“Finalizing the Aurora College Mandate Agreement is an important step for Aurora College, and I am pleased to have played a role in its development. This document will provide accountability for the institution as it engages in the shared strategic priorities and the activities outlined and continues efforts to transform to a polytechnic university.”  

Denny RodgersAdministrator, Aurora College

“This mandate agreement is another positive step that will support the work being done by Aurora College and the GNWT to enhance academic opportunities for Northerners at all levels and in all communities during the College’s transformation to a polytechnic university. It confirms Aurora College’s role and responsibilities as the leader in post-secondary education in the NWT and sets out the shared goals and timelines required to meet necessary transformational goals through to the end of 2024.”

Glenda Vardy DellPresident, Aurora College

Quick facts

  • The requirement for an Aurora College Mandate Agreement is established in the Post-Secondary Education Act and the process for Aurora College is further defined in the Aurora College Act.
  • The Board of Governors recruitment process is step one in establishing the tricameral governance model.
  • The Board of Governors recruitment process is nearing completion, and it is anticipated that the Board will be identified in the coming weeks. This process is being led by Aurora College and the Aurora College Administrator.

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For media requests, please contact:

Krystal Pidborochynski

Manager, Strategic Communications

Aurora College Transformation

Government of the Northwest Territories

(867) 767-9065 ext. 71078