Athabasca University and Portage College to take action on collaboration
Athabasca University (AU) is set to expand and build upon its long-standing partnership with Portage College.
Portage College President Nancy Broadbent joined AU President Dr. Neil Fassina in Athabasca Oct. 16, where the two signed a new Memorandum of Action (MOA) outlining the intention to work more closely together.
The two institutions have worked together in a limited capacity since the 1990s, with AU providing some courses to Portage students. This new agreement will see the two institutions explore new degree pathway options, possible research collaborations, and sharing other expertise.
“While we’ve been partners for decades, this is about taking a purposeful strategic play to work together to create something. Further to just being transactional, we can create something that wouldn’t otherwise exist,” Fassina said.
“I see this as different because I see us trying to bring value to both organizations as we work through things. Being rural, and northern rural, we need to rely on each other. And I think we can set some examples for the (post-secondary) system about how to work, and how to make things happen together,” Broadbent said.
Fassina said AU has a lot in common with Portage College, which has seven campuses across northeastern Alberta, and this collaboration has the potential to benefit the entire region especially as it relates to research opportunities.
“There’s an immense opportunity. We sit in an incredible corridor. Just to the west of us through to Lac La Biche, where it’s the intersection of so many different opportunities in this province,” he said. To be able to combine the application side that the Portage team would do, and some of the pure research side that we would do, it allows this region to actually have a very significant strategic research play.”
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