Post-secondary Education in Northern Manitoba
Getting an advanced education can be challenging, even in areas where students have easy access to all of the resources needed. In remote areas with small populations, such as in northern Manitoba, finding accessible resources for learning can prove even more difficult. However, several programs and institutions are helping to bring post-secondary education even to the most remote parts of the province.
In much of Canada, universities and colleges tend to be located in large towns or cities, mainly because that is where the people are. Students from small communities can normally complete much of their early schooling close to home, but if they want to continue their education, they have to move to another city. In Manitoba, that normally means moving to Winnipeg since about half of the population lives in the capital city. Some of the smaller cities, such as Brandon, have opportunities for post-secondary education, but the program choices are much greater in Winnipeg.
The University College of the North has fairly large schools in The Pas and Thompson, as well as smaller centres in places like Churchill and Flin Flon and also some First Nations reserves. Many different programs are available through the school, including education, health, English literature studies, and trades. With programs like these, many students can stay in their home communities and still learn what they need in order to pursue a specific career path.
Distance education is also making a difference in northern Manitoba. Many universities and colleges offer students the option of taking their courses online rather than in classrooms, and video conferencing is becoming more common in this digital age. Students and instructors from the north can talk with people from colleges and universities in the south and learn new techniques or just discuss the issues they are facing.
Access to resources is a major issue for many students, even in big cities. Have you ever needed a book or magazine but couldn’t find it or wanted to use a database that you couldn’t get into? In cities, most people can just go to another library or visit a university to find what they need. In remote northern communities, however, students have to find other options. One of the ways that people have been developing northern education is through access to computer programs, online databases, and library catalogues.
For example, the Manitoba government has developed a software library which allows people to borrow and test programs to assess their usefulness. Other programs have also helped to make it easier for students and instructors to get what they need for their courses.
If you live in northern Manitoba, you might already know how hard it can be to get an education beyond high school, and sometimes even that can be difficult. However, some of the established programs and new initiatives are helping to make it easier to get a post-secondary education without ever leaving home.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. “Postsecondary Education in Manitoba.” http://www.cicic.ca/1200/Postsecondary-education-in-Manitoba/index.canada.
Government of Manitoba. “Advanced Learning Division.” http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/ald/index.html.
Government of Manitoba. Student Services. “Rural and Northern Services Initiative.” http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/specedu/rndi/index.html.
University College of the North. “The Pas Campus.” https://www.ucn.ca/sites/studentdevelopment/Locations/Pages/The-Pas-Campus.aspx.
University College of the North. “Thompson Campus.” https://www.ucn.ca/sites/studentdevelopment/Locations/Pages/Thompson-Campus.aspx.
University College of the North. “Why Choose UCN.” https://www.ucn.ca/aboutucn/whychooseucn/Pages/Why-Choose-UCN.aspx.