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University of Saskatchewan working on ‘permanent footprint’ in Prince Albert

University of Saskatchewan officials hope to centralize a venue for students, rather than having classes scattered around Prince Albert. File / Global News

Big changes could be coming to post-secondary education in Prince Albert as the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) looks to expand to the city within the next year or two.

The university’s largest off-campus program in the province already operates in Prince Albert.

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U of S officials hope to centralize a venue for students, rather than having classes scattered around the city. The university would also assess options for additional programming.

“The idea is that we will create a permanent footprint in Prince Albert,” Patti McDougall, U of S vice-provost teaching and learning, said in Saskatoon on Friday.

“What are the needs of the northern communities, what would they like to see — we’re already advancing on opportunities in degrees such as English, we have opportunities in sociology. So we’ll continue to expand, we’re thinking about education at the undergraduate and graduate level.”

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University officials said this adheres to a principle they’ve been following — learn where you live.

“We’re very aware that people in northern Saskatchewan aren’t necessarily positioned to pull up stakes and move to Saskatoon to be on the Saskatoon campus to pursue post-secondary education. So following that ‘learn where you live’ (principle), we’re trying to provide a series of options,” McDougall said.

“We’re viewing Prince Albert as a gateway to the North. And so by creating a University of Saskatchewan hub, we’ll have greater capacity to serve points north of that.”

There might also be a possibility for dental students to train and provide services in Prince Albert.

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