Located at 4342 Queen St., the inaugural run, starting in January, will concentrate on five courses as the student body starts to grow with time.
Announced this time last year, the for-profit, private University of Niagara Falls Canada was created by Global University Systems (GUS) Canada, part of a Netherlands-based international business group specializing in higher education that will run the university.
It now has all the provincial government approval necessary including two thumbs-up from Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop.
“A new university for Niagara Falls is good news for the region, the local economy, and for employers in high-demand fields,” said Dunlop. “Our government is committed to supporting high-quality post-secondary education that provides workers with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
For Mayor Jim Diodati, this process has been a decade in the making, as his council first considering extending Brock University in the city. When that plan fell short, other avenues were considered.
“We’re really excited about this,” Diodati told University Affairs. “This will be an economic development driver for our downtown.”
The city’s world-famous waterfalls draw 12 million visitors a year, most of whom spend their time and money in and around its busy, carnival-like Clifton Hill area. But Niagara Falls also used to have a bustling main street a few kilometres away that was popular with local residents, now numbering around 96,000.
When retail business started to change several decades ago from smaller storefronts to shopping malls and big-box stores, the downtown went into decline, becoming “an eyesore,” said Mr. Diodati.
Heeding labour market needs of the region and local employers, the University of Niagara Falls Canada received consent to offer five programs:
- Honours Bachelor of Science – Biomedical Sciences.
- Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Majors in Digital Economy and Digital Marketing.
- Master of Data Analytics – Specializations in Marketing Analytics and Operations Analytics.
- Master of Management – Specializations in Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship.
- Master of Arts in Digital Media and Global Communications.
Officials say all academic programs will have a professional focus that prepares learners for a digital world when the doors open in January, the university will concentrate on small class sizes and first-class student supports.
However, according to Diodati, it will bring a much-need dynamic to the downtown core – that of youth.
“We knew that having youth in our downtown would bring everything with it – that optimism, that energy, that innovative thinking,” as well as businesses and development to cater to them, said Diodati.