Schools Training

Four Small Universities Form an Alliance – The U4 League

13 MAY 2013
Topic : Education News

Four small eastern Canadian universities have decided to form a strategic alliance. The U4 league consists of Acadia (Nova Scotia), Bishop’s (Québec), Mount Allison (New Brunswick) and St. Francis Xavier (Nova Scotia), four universities specializing in liberal arts and science undergraduate education for students living in residence.

The collaboration between these four universities is illustrated in many ways, including:

  • designing collaborative programs, courses, activities
  • implementing best practice approaches to improve the quality of university teaching
  • increasing the teaching, research, and professional opportunities
  • developing joint research activities

One of the aims of the U4 league is to promote the common goals of all four universities. According to the U4 league president and principal of Bishop’s, Michael Goldbloom, this alliance will promote understanding and appreciation of the benefits of studying in a small university. He also expressed that this alliance was in fact their response to general concern expressed by students, educators and parents “that the quality of undergraduate education has been deteriorating in Canada.” Despite financial problems, universities across Canada have been increasing the number of students in undergraduate programs while stretching their limited resources. Michael Goldbloom regrets that in many higher education institutions there are over one hundred students per class, which limits the direct interactions between teacher and student.

Such an alliance isn’t the first in Canada. There is also the U15, a group consisting of Canada’s most research-intensive universities.