Aurora College Foundational Review

May 2018 Update

The Government of the Northwest Territories is responsible for ensuring that Aurora College, as the primary publicly-funded postsecondary education institution in the territory, is meeting the needs of its residents, employers and communities.

In 2017, the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment committed to completing an Aurora College Foundational Review (Review), a comprehensive examination of five overarching areas of Aurora College: governance, operations, academic program processes, accountability, and student recruitment and retention. It was the intent of the Review to establish a model for Aurora College that is responsive to changing labour market demands and student needs, both now and in the future.

The Aurora College Foundational Review Report (Review Report), including the contractor’s findings and recommendations for change, was delivered by the independent contractor, MNP LLP, following their six-month examination of the College. The Review Report recommendations are about ensuring NWT residents have access to a high quality postsecondary education inside the NWT.

Informed by both broad engagement with NWT stakeholders and national best practices, the Review Report recommends a new kind of institution that will better meet the needs of NWT residents, employers and communities. The Review Report calls for the transformation of Aurora College into a Northern Canada Polytechnic University with three campuses and increased opportunities for small community residents to access and complete a postsecondary education.

The Government is committed to establishing a stronger, sustainable and more vibrant postsecondary institution that meets the needs of NWT residents and employers, and that contributes to stronger communities – an institution that is built for the NWT by the NWT.

Work is already underway to assess the 67 recommendations made in the Review Report. The GNWT will be developing comprehensive responses for each recommendation for discussion with, and feedback from, the Standing Committee on Social Development (SCOSD). It is anticipated that this response will be finalized and made public in fall 2018.

This is a unique opportunity to ensure future generations have access to a world-class education in the Northwest Territories.


Summer 2018

  • The Department of Education, Culture and Employment and Standing Committee on Social Development examine each of the recommendations in the Aurora College Foundational Review Report

Fall 2018

  • Government releases the response to the recommendations and outlines the path forward for Aurora College

Winter 2018-19

  • Begin implementation of changes at Aurora College

Current Aurora College Programs

Student enrolment for the 2018/2019 academic year will continue. New programs that have been added for the 2018/2019 academic year, such as the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma program at the Yellowknife North Slave Campus, will continue to be implemented. Investments in infrastructure, such as the Centre for Mining and Industry Training Facility at the Thebacha Campus will also go forward.

The Review Report makes several recommendations to help guide future program planning, including processes for the review of existing programs and selection of new programs. As previously committed, ECE will look closely at the recommendations in the Review Report before moving forward with any decision about current or potentially new programming.

Thank you!

The Review Report reflected input from postsecondary institutions and research centres affiliated with the College, Indigenous governments and organizations, NWT friendship centres, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, Council for Persons with Disabilities, NWT Literacy Council, College students, College staff, College board members, licensed researchers, NWT Chamber of Commerce, NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, Mine Training Society NWT, NWT and Nunavut Construction Association, NWT Tourism, NWT Association of Communities, Northern Farm Training Institute, and members of the general public.


Key Documents

Aurora College Foundational Review Report
May 2018 Update - Aurora College Foundational Review
Backgrounder - May 2018
Terms of Reference - Management Response to the Aurora College Foundational Review
Terms of Reference - Aurora College Foundation Review Report