Why UBCO Downtown

The vision for UBCO Downtown

Video published July 26, 2022



Why is UBC expanding?

Since our creation in 2005, we have grown from 3,000 students to more than 12,000 today and we expect our community to continue its development, reaching a population of between 13,000 to 18,000 by 2040.

With this kind of expanded presence over the coming years, paired with our ongoing commitment to community engagement, it only makes sense that we would create community-facing academic space in the heart of Kelowna, in close proximity to many of our community partners working in health, tech, business, and arts and culture.

A place in the community

While the UBC Okanagan campus offers a variety of opportunities for faculty and students, having a presence downtown means that those who are engaged in community-based academic work have better access to community partners, resources and expertise.

For examples, students in the Faculty of Health and Social Development are training to be the best and brightest in the health-care and social work fields; they will benefit from proximity to partners like Interior Health, the Kelowna General Hospital, and social-service providers like the Kelowna Gospel Mission.

Researchers will benefit from strengthening community-based organizations that allow them to pursue their research programs and connect more easily with the public. Our intention is to bring community-focused academic activities into the heart of the community.

This investment represents UBC’s commitment to the long-term future of its Okanagan campus and relies on the extensive market analysis that is done whenever the university is contemplating development projects. That analysis takes into account real estate values, zoning available for university activities and any municipal agreements that may be in place.

Building on partnerships

The university has been incrementally establishing a series of off-campus sites in Kelowna and this project will build on efforts to date. Other off-campus activities include:

  • the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital,
  • the Innovation UBC Hub at the Okanagan Innovation Centre and
  • our presence at the Okanagan Regional Library, the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre and the Rotary Centre for the Arts.