KPU plans to offer new entertainment arts programs in 2022

Students will be able to take courses on games design, animation, and visual effects

(Thomas Buecking)

(Thomas Buecking)


The Centre for Entertainment Arts (CEA) plans to partner with Kwantlen Polytechnic University in order to offer new courses to students by next summer. 

The CEA, which offers programs like game technology, visual effects, 3D animation, and game design to Langara students, will be moving over to KPU. 

“We believe that by partnering together, we will be able to provide students an amazing opportunity to learn from the best industry and academic leaders within the area of entertainment arts,” Diwakar Gandhi, CEA vice president of international business development, wrote in an email to The Runner.

“Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s mandate is one that offers students the ability to combine their passion in learning with job ready employment skills,” he continued. 

KPU is still working on the final approval process for the CEA to become a part of the university’s programing and any further changes KPU plans to make still need to be discussed with the CEA, though the university has already planned how students from Langara can adjust to completing the program at KPU. 

Students will be able to move their program to KPU and complete their credits through a program called Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). PLAR allows students to receive credits for “learning that is directly applicable to the student’s declared program of study,” according to the KPU Senate agenda document from Oct. 25.  

More updates about the transition of the program will be provided by both the CEA and KPU in January 2022, Gandhi said. 

In an emailed statement to The Runner, David Burns, vice-chair of the University Senate, said the KPU plans to implement five total programs, with four diplomas and one certificate. 

Those programs include a certificate in Foundation in Entertainment Arts, a diploma in Advanced 2D Digital Animation Production, a diploma in Advanced 3D Animation and 3D Modelling, a diploma in Advanced Game Development, and a diploma in Advanced VFX.

“If approved, the CEA has a few really interesting features. It would bring to KPU opportunities for creative collaborations better than anything I have seen in the recent past,” Burns wrote, adding that there is excitement around the game development program in particular because it would require a new gaming lab.

This program will also provide opportunities for creative writing students as they’ll be able to write scripts. KPU Design students can help with 3D design, and fashion design students can help with costumes, Burns wrote. 

“There’s also an opportunity to give back. Those programs will be improved as we make them KPU’s. The students would move into a context where they have full academic offerings, which means they would have access to the student loan system, they would have access to the benefits of being a member of the Kwantlen Student Association, and to a stable long-term academic offering,” he added. 

“We would also be able to bring in a lot of our academic expertise in equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization.”