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Since our first class graduated in 1966, our history has reflected the evolution of British Columbia’s economy. Our institution has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and we’re proud of our contribution to shaping the province’s workforce.

For more than 50 years, we’ve been filling the needs of industry, and training future leaders and changemakers across a diverse range of sectors—and our work, like theirs, is never done.

Historical photo of BCIT's first graduating class of 1964.
Historical photo of BCIT’s first graduating class of 1964.
1960 BCIT’s predecessor, the BC Vocational School, opens in Burnaby.
1964 The BCIT Burnaby Campus officially opens. (Photo)
1964 We welcome students for our first official day of classes, with nearly 500 students, studying Engineering, Health and Business. (Photo)
1966 Students establish the Student Association, which improves the campus experience with social and recreation activities.
1966 We celebrate our first graduating class. (Photo)
BCIT campus sign and buildings.
BCIT campus in 1980.
1977 BCIT expands, opening the Sea Island campus to offer courses in aircraft maintenance. (Photo)
1978 The Maquinna student residences officially open, further contributing to the thriving BCIT campus. (Photo)
1969/1970 Our Alumni Association is established to serve the needs of our ever-expanding network of graduates. (Photo)
1985/1986 We merge with the Pacific Vocational Institute, consolidating our educational offerings. (Photo)
Students lying on a grassy hill on campus on a sunny day.
Students enjoying the sun on campus, 1980s.
1989 We broaden our mandate to include applied research, and establish our Technology Center to support this new direction. (Photo)
1992 We open our new Downtown campus in the heart of Vancouver, near the Granville Skytrain station. The new location offers business courses and certificate programs. In 1997 we moved into our current downtown campus on Seymour Street. (Photo)
1996 We expand our educational offerings with our first Bachelor of Technology degree in Environmental Engineering and Technology.
2002 Along with UBC, SFU, and Emily Carr, we become joint owners of the new Great Northern Way Campus.
Aerial view of the Gateway building (SW-01) under construction.
Aerial view of the Gateway building (SW-01) under construction.
2004 Number of students is now more than 48,000. Our polytechnic status is enshrined in legislation.
2005 Research Services Office opens to support applied research

We open our new, state-of-the-art 285,000-square-foot Aerospace Technology Campus in Richmond, near the South Terminal for the Vancouver International Airport.

Our international partnerships span training, education and research initiatives in South America, Central America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

Our total alumni has grown to more than 120,000.

Aerial view of the Aerospace Technology campus building and hangar.
Aerial view of the Aerospace Technology campus and hangar.
2011 Our Burnaby campus opens the Indigenous Gathering Place, offering cultural and educational activities for our growing number of Indigenous students.
2014 Our newest campus opens as Annacis Island. This 142,000-square-foot facility jointly hosts motive power programs offered by us and Vancouver Community College.
2014/5 We celebrate our 50th anniversary with a dedicated website and events. Indigenous Student Services honours the 2015 graduates with a Celebratory House Post.
2019 Groundbreaking for the new 106,000-square-foot Health Sciences Centre at the Burnaby campus.

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