A parliamentary committee from Denmark is visiting University of Northern British Columbia campuses in Prince George and Quesnel this week on a fact-finding mission focusing on decentralized education systems and the delivery of economic supports in rural areas.
Today and tomorrow (March 7-8), seven members of the Danish Rural Districts and Islands committee will meet with UNBC and other stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges associated with distributed models of education.
During the mission, co-ordinated by UNBC’s Community Development Institute, Danish Members of Parliament will also meet with elected local and regional municipal and First Nations leaders, community members, and economic development leaders in both communities.
The delegation, which also includes officials from the Danish Embassy, are travelling to Quesnel today where they’ll tour the North Cariboo Community Campus that’s home to both UNBC and the College of New Caledonia.
“We welcome the opportunity to meet with members of the Parliamentary Committee from Denmark and share our knowledge about the positive impacts a University such as UNBC can have in communities and a rural region,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks, in a news release. “We are transforming lives and communities in the north and around the world by developing leadership in our students, faculty and staff.”
A lunch meeting hosted by the Nazko First Nation, with representation from other communities and First Nations, will follow where the positive impacts of access to education services by remote and small populations will be discussed.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson will meet with the delegates at City Hall. Another meeting with Community Futures and the Chamber of Commerce will feature a presentation on economic development as well as the contribution of the CNC/UNBC has on broader economic development.
Upon returning to Prince George, the delegation will meet with those from Northern Development Initiative Trust on Wednesday, March 8 to find out more about the trust and its programming.
The visit then shifts to UNBC’s campus which includes a briefing and tour of the Northern Medical Program.
Meetings follow with officials from the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, and the university’s senior administration.
The tour returns to City Hall in downtown Prince George for a Mayor’s panel, which includes Prince George’s acting mayor, and the mayors from Mackenzie (Pat Crooks), Smithers (Taylor Bachrach), and Vanderhoof (Gerry Thiessen).
The discussion will include the impact and role of post-secondary education in meeting their social and economic challenges and how they are trying to build these connections and capacities to renew their economies.
The delegation includes seven members from the Danish Parliamentary committee, four additional Danish government staff, and three people from the Community Development Institute at UNBC.