BCIT has tremendous strength.
Almost 50,000 learners are pursuing credentials ranging from certificates and diplomas to bachelor’s and master’s degrees across our five campuses and we proudly serve more than 180,000 alumni. Ninety-eight per cent of our degree graduates are employed within two years of leaving BCIT. Ninety-two per cent of employed apprentice completers and eighty-two per cent of employed diploma and certificate graduates work in their field of study. We have close relationships with industry, interacting with 700 leaders and practitioners through our Program Advisory Committees. We achieve high levels of student satisfaction and are a destination for learners from other institutions across the province. Our previous Strategic Plan, established in 2014, asserted that, “The world needs more BCIT.” Under this plan, we advanced the quality of our education and recognition of our credentials. We took steps to internationalize our student body and improve employee engagement, and we created a framework for the development of the Burnaby campus. We have a solid foundation from which to build.
Our faculty and staff are proud to work at BCIT, but many do not feel fully empowered. We face internal complexities, notably in processes and systems that constrain our effectiveness and agility and make it difficult to collaborate. We are also challenged by external forces. Learners and employees are more mobile and more diverse, and we know that they have alternatives. Against the backdrop of ongoing domestic post-secondary enrolment decline as the Canadian population ages, BCIT is facing competition from regional peers. And, while we have strengthened our brand, we continue to struggle with misconceptions about our portfolio of offerings, even within the province.
Beyond BCIT, the needs of industry are changing at an unprecedented pace with developments in technology and shifts in society.
However, we see extraordinary opportunity. Beyond BCIT, the needs of industry are changing at an unprecedented pace with developments in technology and shifts in society. There is a strong convergence between the capabilities of BCIT and the evolving requirements of those around us. The most important attribute that employers are seeking, according to our recent survey1, is adaptability. Critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently come next, followed by the capacity to hit the ground running. In short, employers are seeking a combination of technical skills, 21st century competence, and practical experience. Our education model is perfectly aligned to deliver against these expectations.
Leveraging our experience and advantage in applied education, team-based cohort learning models, and Part-time Studies, we can be a leader in flexible, interdisciplinary, and work-integrated learning. BCIT’s expertise in technology, health, sustainability, and entrepreneurship also connects well with today’s global challenges, and we are uniquely positioned to work in partnership with industry. As an institute of higher education at the western edge of Canada, we can – and must – continue the process of enriching our own and the broader community through Indigenization and through greater domestic and international diversity. And we can – and must – work with regional partners to mobilize expertise and resources to advance the health of the environment. Our current fundraising campaign, Inspire, creates a focal point for celebrating the best of BCIT and for galvanizing the excitement and support that will fuel our commitment to progress.
1. Proprietary online survey conducted by BCIT in September – October 2018; n=420 [107 non-affiliated employers and 313 members of BCIT’s Program Advisory Committees]