The First Nations University of Canada has unveiled its first long-term strategic plan.
It’s a five-year roadmap that will guide the work of the university until 2018.
This follows a year that saw enrolment and revenues increase.
Overall, numbers appear to be moving in the right direction.
Enrolment is up about 15 per cent over last year to about 670 students and the institution’s acting president Juliano Tupone predicts it will continue to grow in the 10-to-15 per cent range each year over the next five years, breaking the 1,000 student mark in the not too distant future.
Just a-year-and-a-half ago, enrolment was down to 230 students.
Tupone says the last few years have been a period of struggle and readjustment, but he says the university is now on the right track.
“That is a lot different from where we were two years ago when, quite frankly, people were concerned whether the institution would be in existence the following week,” he says. “That is a big change. Now we know the institution is here to stay. I think that is the feeling in our institution and among the greater community. We are here to grow and to fulfill our mission to work with our students to make sure they are successful.”
Students’ Union President Jaqueline Anaquod, who is in her third-year at FNUC, says students were given the opportunity to provide input into the five-year plan.
Anaquod says the institution has come a long away in a couple of years and she is confident of its continued growth and success.
“I have always had confidence in this institution, only because they are my people and I have confidence in my people,” she says.
FNUC’s long-term plan involves more strategic partnerships with the business community and an increase in distance learning and remote campuses to serve students closer to their home communities.
As well, FNUC is on a major recruitment drive partnering with school divisions and getting the word out that post-secondary education is available, attainable and the future for Aboriginal students.
The university’s acting president also expects financial control will be returned to the institution next year.
FNUC’s spending is currently overseen by an accounting firm.
Tupone also expects a new tenant will be found to fill the space at the university when the department of Aboriginal Affairs moves out next spring.
This tenant currently provides about a million dollars in rent to the university.