Prof. Stephen J. Toope, UBC President and Vice Chancellor - photo by Martin Dee

Prof. Stephen J. Toope, UBC President and Vice Chancellor - photo by Martin Dee

UBC has grown into a globally influential university, blessed in abundance with a remarkable student body, first-rate teachers and researchers, dedicated staff and engaged alumni.  It holds an international reputation for excellence in advanced research and learning, offering innovative undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

In recent years UBC has seen dramatic changes. Enrolment has grown from 31,000 students in 1995-96 to more than 50,000 today, with two main campuses situated in Vancouver on the Point Grey Peninsula (Vancouver campus) and in Kelowna (Okanagan campus).   In addition, UBC has a downtown presence in Vancouver at UBC Robson Square and at the Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), located just southeast of the downtown Vancouver core.  The latter is a collaboration between UBC, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

UBC plays a vital role in the cultural, social, and economic development of our regions and our country, as well as at home.  With a total economic impact of $10 billion in local income and over 39,700 jobs, UBC contributes strongly to the economy of the province and Canada.  UTown@UBC is growing on the Vancouver campus, bringing lively residential, social and cultural diversity to a more complete community.  Public attractions include the Museum of Anthropology (Canada’s largest teaching museum), the Pacific Museum of the Earth, one of the world's largest sub-atomic particle accelerators, three superb concert halls, a contemporary art gallery, botanical gardens, and a full complement of theatre, music and athletics programs.

UBC launched its renewed strategic plan – Place and Promise – in December 2009, driving a culture of planning.  With a strong focus on student learning, research excellence and community engagement, UBC has achieved major campus operational and academic sustainability programs, new aboriginal initiatives, increased alumni engagement and budget stability.  UBC’s international scope continues to grow.  Building on its historical ties, its commitment to the Asia Pacific region, and its focus on study and research related to Asia, UBC opened the Asia Pacific regional office in the central district of Hong Kong in 2005.  UBC has over 6,000 international students.

On our campuses – or anywhere in the world the members of our community find themselves – UBC's phenomenal students, globally significant research and a spirit of openness that is part of this young university's heritage all combine to create what makes us distinct among the world's great post-secondary institutions. It's what we mean when we say:

UBC a place of mind

From this brief overview I hope it is apparent that, whatever your interests, whatever your goals and ambitions, UBC has much to offer all who come here – an unrivalled choice of degree programs, learning and research opportunities, international experiences, and recreational and sporting facilities.  And underlying this wealth of offerings are UBC’s strong core values:  advancing and sharing knowledge; free inquiry and scholarly responsibility; educating students to the highest standards; fulfilling its promises and ensuring open, respectful relationships; respecting all members of its communities; and working within the wider community to enhance societal good.

I offer my warmest welcome to all who join UBC and help us to address the many opportunities and challenges that face our local and global communities.

Stephen J. Toope
President, University of British Columbia