Aurora College gets $8 million investment, boosts research initiative

Aurora College's Yellowknife campus. (File photo/CKLB)

As part of the 2021 budget, $8 million has been granted by the federal government to support the transition of Aurora College into a polytechnic university.

Over the next two years, the institution will develop a new research warehouse and staging centre.

The location of these new centres is still unclear.

The money will also go to upgrades at the Western Arctic Research Center in Inuvik.

Andy Bevan is the President of Aurora College and he’s focused on bringing these new programs to every corner of the NWT.

Daniel Vandal is the minister of Northern Affairs.

“One of the realities for people in Canada’s north is that you haven’t had access to quality education close to home. And this is a long-term problem, and it is especially true for Indigenous people,” he said during an announcement Tuesday morning.

“Lack of access to education leads to a lack of opportunities.”

The institution will develop a new governing body to include Indigenous Knowledge holders to influence the decisions made by the board and create a framework to guide the university.

“(The council) will be the lens through which the university is governed,” Bevan says.

Currently, Aurora College operates out of three campuses and 21 Learning Centres.

This year the institution has 44 total projects to complete to remain on the transition schedule.

“If we are late in one area that will affect other areas, “he says, “And despite the challenges of the past year and a half, we’ve done quite well,” says R.J. Simpson minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment.

The Polytechnic University is scheduled to open its doors in May 2025.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at