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Quebec City’s Francophone Laval University considers offering classes in English

Click to play video: 'Laval University wants to improve the student experience' Laval University wants to improve the student experience
WATCH: With its new state of the art science lab freshly inaugurated, Laval University in Quebec City wants to do more to entice foreign and domestic students. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, the university wants to remain current and is considering offering more courses in English to broaden its academic reach – Nov 5, 2018

Last month, Laval University in Quebec City announced the opening of what it called it’s brand new, “ultra-modern” science labs. It now boasts one of the most competitive science departments in the country.

The francophone university is also considering a plan to make the entire campus more modern — by offering more classes in English.

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After three years of renovations, the dean of science and engineering at Laval University is proud to show off the new, state of the art undergraduate science labs.

“It’s a $35-million investment. It’s 28,000 square feet of lab space over four floors, 12 new labs,” explained Dean André Zaccarin.

The new labs replace old ones that dated from the 1950s. For students, it means bigger, more complicated experiments with updated equipment that they will see in the workplace.

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“We have nothing to envy from anybody else in the country, so from an attraction point of view, yes this is really important,” Zaccarin said.

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Fourth-year engineering physics student, Catherine Bouchard, would recommend Laval to anyone considering a career in science, but there’s something else she’d like to see the university offer.

“I worked one summer in the industry here in Quebec and I’ve seen how much English is important, even though we’re in a mostly francophone environment,” she said.

Bouchard, who will begin her Master’s degree in artificial intelligence next year, said English is essential for any future scientist.

“What we do in Quebec can be exported everywhere around the world,” she said.

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Laval University said it’s considering offering more classes with English instruction in the physical and social sciences, business administration, as well as other areas.

“Our reflection is a part of our internationalization efforts to attract the best foreign students,” said Laval University spokesperson, Andrée-Anne Stewart.

And to respond to the needs of current students: “They want to master French and they want to master English as well,” she added.

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Stewart said Laval University will always remain a francophone campus, but it says part of being a modern campus means offering courses in international languages. Stewart said the university is looking not only at English, but also Spanish in the future.

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