Arms of UC
|Formation||June 6, 1911 (First meeting)|
|Type||non profit educational organization|
|Purpose||advocate and public voice, educator and network|
Universities Canada (French: Universités Canada) is an organization that represents Canada's colleges and universities. It is a non profit national organization that coordinates university policies, guidance and direction.
Formed in 1911, as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), it represents 97 public and private not-for-profit Canadian Universities and University Colleges in Canada. It provides member services in public policy and advocacy, communications, research and information-sharing, and scholarships and international programs. In April 2015, the organization renamed itself "Universities Canada".
Universities Canada is not a higher education accreditation body. Membership in the association requires universities to meet strict criteria and adhere to set principles of institutional quality assurance that must be reaffirmed every five years. This reinforces the recognition of a Canadian university degree around the world as a high-quality academic achievement.
The association produces a number of publications, such as University Affairs magazine and the Directory of Canadian Universities.
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada's Arms, Supporters and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on May 10, 2004.
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On 25 October 2011, the AUCC announced a new Statement on Academic Freedom which was adopted unanimously by the membership at its centennial meeting. However, at least one critic has expressed the opinion that the Statement, drafted by academic administrators, essentially gives academic administrators the right to determine the limits of such freedom.
Its priorities are increasing funding for universities' operating and capital costs, research, and international programs, along with improved student assistance.
It is also involved in the government's copyright reform process.
Universities Canada follows the Canadian government's Federal Employment Equity Act in developing their equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) policies for the four pillars of marginalized students, professors, and other university members. "Under-represented groups include those identified in the federal Employment Equity Act - women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities - as well as, but not limited to, LGBTQ2+ people and men in female-dominated disciplines."
Universities Canada (and similarly the Canadian government) exclude social class from their EDI statement and initiatives. That is, the invisible minority who come from and/or live in poverty, those from working-class backgrounds, and those who are generally known as first-generation and/or low socioeconomic status. In Canada, poverty is termed as "social condition" and is not grounds for discrimination.
The association is also active in managing government-funded international partnership programs and more than 130 scholarship programs on behalf of private sector companies.
In partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and Rideau Hall Foundation, the association manages the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships Program.