Adult and Post-Secondary Education

Aurora College Transformation

The GNWT has committed to strengthening the foundations of Aurora College and to transforming it into a polytechnic university.

Informed by both broad engagement with NWT stakeholders and national best practices, the GNWT will be creating a new kind of institution that will better meet the needs of NWT residents, employers and communities. A polytechnic university, building on our existing College, is the most efficient, effective and practical path towards providing more post-secondary education and training opportunities in the north, for northerners.

The transformation process has already begun and will continue for several years, but the potential benefits are already clear.

First and foremost, upcoming changes at Aurora College will be focused on students, ensuring their academic success, as well as success in their jobs and as part of their community.

Residents in all communities will benefit from the transformation and all three campuses will gain new opportunities for growth. A polytechnic university will improve the quality and kinds of education and training opportunities at the Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith, the Yellowknife North Slave Campus, the Aurora Campus in Inuvik and at Community Learning Centres across the NWT.

The creation of a polytechnic university will also create new and exciting opportunities for growth of the knowledge economy moving forward. Strengthening and transforming Aurora College into a polytechnic university will help meet existing labour demands, while also encouraging innovation and attracting new and increased investments in northern research.

At the same time, the GNWT is developing legislation to standardize post-secondary education in the territory. To guide and support these significant initiatives and all of our continued work in this area, we are developing a NWT Post-Secondary Education Framework.  The NWT Post-Secondary Education Framework, including vision, is expected to be released in August 2019.

There is much work ahead to strengthen our post-secondary education system, but we are confident in the long-term economic and social gains that will result from the changes ahead.


Key Documents

NWT Post-Secondary Education Strategic Framework 2019-2020

Terms of Reference - Academic Advisory Council - Aurora College Transformation

Update on the Post-Secondary Framework & Vision Survery

Next Steps in Post-Secondary Education

Government Response to the Aurora College Foundational Review

October 2018 Update - Aurora College Foundational Review

Backgrounder - October 2018

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