The proposed Whistler U project is getting some competition in the local post-secondary market following a proposal by Capilano University to bring classes up the Sea to Sky Highway and into Whistler.
However, unlike Whistler U, Capilano isn't looking to build a campus of its own but rather, use existing infrastructure throughout the municipality.
"Our proposed partnership is based on sharing existing community infrastructure in ways that will facilitate positive learning experiences," reads Capilano's proposal. "We will also work collaboratively with our partners in British Columbia's postsecondary network and beyond to bring additional expertise in many applied-study areas that are a strong fit with the nature and culture of the Whistler resort area."
The Whistler U project is looking to open a campus in the Alpha Creek area parallel to Function Junction.
As for where students may stay, the proposal states that all accommodation needs and other required meeting spaces will be out-sourced within the community by working with community partners and the RMOW.
"This will create additional revenue for hotels and other facilities during off-peak periods," reads the proposal.
On top of hospitality and tourism, Capilano University is proposing an offering of programs that would also include recreational management, culinary development, sustainable management and a variety of arts such as nature photography, arts and entertainment management and adventure film making.
"We are a teaching focused university and recognize that the unique learning environment of Whistler is appealing to a broad audience of learners—from recent graduates to advanced professionals," reads the proposal. "We want to serve Whistler more fully by helping to coordinate the highest quality of educational destination programming possible. We believe the time is right for Whistler as well. The community has matured, is focused on gaining a stronger presence for post-secondary education, and has resources that can be utilized for educational purposes, particularly in shoulder seasons."
The Capilano proposal will come before council at tomorrow's (June 19) council meeting alongside the Whistler U proposal, where staff is recommending a lengthy public consultation process as well as the creation of an Education Task Force.
For more on this story, check out Thursday's edition of The Question.