16 Facts About Athabasca University


Athabasca University is a Canadian public research university that primarily operates through online distance education.

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Athabasca University was created by the Alberta government in 1970 as part of an expansion of higher education to cope with rising enrolment at the time.

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Under the leadership of university president Dominique Abrioux, Athabasca expanded programs in all faculties, including graduate studies, with a new MA in Integrated Studies called MA-IS.

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Contrary to much current belief, Athabasca University was not modelled after the Open University, but was developed in its present form during the pilot project.

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AU became aware of what the Open Athabasca University was doing when, during the final year of the project, a representative went to Milton Keynes to discover any methods its staff might have devised to speed up production.

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Athabasca University maintains more than 350 collaborative agreements with other Canadian and international educational institutions, with professional associations, with businesses, and with Indigenous institutions and communities.

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Athabasca University is the first Canadian post-secondary institution to enter into a formal collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Inc .

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The partnership speaks to the five-year digital transformation of Athabasca University, as set out by the university's strategic plans – Imagine: Transforming lives, transforming communities and RISE: Athabasca University's Digital Transformation, Our 5 Year IT Strategy.

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In June 2014, Athabasca University formally partnered with the CFLPA as the official education provider for their players – both past and present.

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Since 2009, the WHL and Athabasca University have partnered, offering fully accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL.

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The majority of Athabasca University's courses are taught through online distance education, but some courses or components of courses are taught in-person, face to face.

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Under the Post-Secondary Learning Act, Athabasca University is considered a "Comprehensive Academic and Research University" .

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Athabasca University is accredited with the United States by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Some notable people have studied through Athabasca University, including Alberta politician Debby Carlson, Olympic bobsleigh racer Christian Farstad, former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, professional hockey player Alyn McCauley, and cross-country skier Milaine Theriault.

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In 2012, it was revealed that Athabasca University was one of the institutions of higher education involved in illegal donations to the provincial Progressive Conservative party of Alberta.

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Student media at Athabasca University is provided by the official publication The Voice Magazine.

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