KPU Consults Students for Vision 2023

Vision 2023 to focus on the student experience

(kpu.ca)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s administration is currently working on an academic plan to shape what the institution should look like by 2023.

To this end, representatives from the university’s senate has been surveying students both online and in-person on each of KPU’s four campuses. The results of the surveying will be used to form Vision 2023, a document that lays out the administration’s expectations for KPU over the next five years.

“It’s all about being a better institution,” says KPU President Alan Davis. “We have limited resources. We’re going to have to make some choices, but we want to be a sustainable, high-quality institution that really focuses on the experience.”

Davis says that the university’s findings have already been telling of the type and quality of experience that students want to have at KPU. Unsurprisingly, among the top concerns voiced through this process is the need for students to have better access to the courses they require. Students commonly report that they’ve been unable to get into certain courses due to limited space or the course not being offered for a particular semester. Davis says that, because of this feedback, Vision 2023 will prescribe better “background planning” to make sure that courses are strategically offered to better align with student needs.

Vision 2023 will succeed its predecessor document, Vision 2018. While Vision 2018 focused on the brand of KPU, particularly public awareness and reputation, Davis says that Vision 2023 is more about the student experience.

“We want to be able to look at the student experience from the students’ point of view more,” explains Davis. “I think 2018 looked at ‘What’s a polytechnic university? What are we all about?’ [We were] trying to get some understanding of where we fit in the bigger ecosystem of higher education, and now we’re trying to turn it around and say, ‘What is it that students really need when they come here?’”

He adds that Vision 2023 will include an explicit statement calling for more investment in research and the scholarship associated with teaching and learning.

Although on-campus consultation was still being conducted in mid-April, the university released a draft version of Vision 2023 through the KPU website on April 2.

“I think every institution is being challenged now, both by provincial and federal governments and communities, to make sure that we are open, accessible, supportive, and help First Nations and Indigenous communities be sustainable and vibrant and healthy,” says Davis.

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