Kelowna, UBCO ink deal

The City of Kelowna and UBC Okanagan have come to an understanding.

The two entities signed a memorandum of understanding in chambers prior to Monday's city council meeting, an agreement that will guide their shared co-operation into the future.

The agreement comes 12 years after the campus first opened in Kelowna.

City real estate director Doug Gilchrist says the MOU recognizes, while the two bodies already collaborate on a number of issues, "We can do a lot more together and collaborating than we can alone."

He says five areas of collaboration are highlighted, including:

Research, learning and innovation

Land use and infrastructure

Campus planning

Community engagement and risk management


UBCO deputy vice-chancellor and principal Deborah Buszard says the Okanagan Valley is a great environment for both innovation and growth, adding the university campus provides an annual estimated economic impact of $1.5 billion.

"What's even more exciting is the province estimates about 60 per cent of our students choose to stay in the region," said Buszard.

"That's quite remarkable when you consider only about 30 per cent of our students come from the region. Some of this growth is being driven by people coming to the Okanagan to UBC, and finding it to their taste and deciding to stay."

She added the university has great ambitions for the campus and the MOU is a founding piece of that.

"We already have a healthy city partnership and lots of things around transportation and infrastructure. Just wait to see what we are all going to do in the future."

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