Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President


Provincial funding helps SFU meet demand for tech talent

January 17, 2018

Post-secondary institutions across British Columbia received welcome news Tuesday in the form of a provincial commitment to fund 2900 new student spaces in technology programs.

Advanced Education and Skills Training Minister Melanie Mark made the announcement at SFU Surrey, at an event attended by government representatives, institutional leaders and community partners.

Rick Glumac, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology, and Jill Tipping, President of the B.C. Tech Association, both spoke of the demand for talent in B.C.’s fast-growing technology sector, while SFU Mechatronics student XingLu Wang talked about the opportunities available to students in technology disciplines. XingLu was one of a number of students and faculty members on hand to demonstrate their research projects.

As one of the fastest growing sectors in the province, the tech industry is expected to generate over 83,000 jobs in the next decade – and SFU is ready to meet the demand.  

The university will gain 320 undergrad and 120 graduate level seats in a new Sustainable Energy Engineering program – the first phase of a long awaited Surrey expansion.  The program will help position B.C. as a leader in clean-tech and sustainable energy, while creating educational opportunities for the burgeoning population South of the Fraser.

The funding announcement demonstrates the value of investing in advanced education both as a means of building a strong, sustainable economy, and of enabling young people to achieve their full potential. As such, it is a win-win for B.C. students, researchers and communities.

Students will gain access to new degree, diploma and certificate programs that will lead to good-paying jobs in fields such as computer programming, engineering and information systems.

Researchers will gain opportunities to drive innovation and to address major world challenges.

And communities across B.C. will benefit from economic development and technological advances in areas such as clean energy, data science and health tech.

SFU welcomes this investment in the future of our students and our province. As Canada’s community-engaged research university, we will ensure that the new program, and others to follow, will provide maximum economic, social and environmental benefit to the communities we serve.

Advanced Education & Skills Training Minister Melanie Mark visits the site of the new Sustainable Energy Engineering Building at SFU’s Surrey campus
SFU Board of Governors Chair Julia Kim, Minister Mark, Elder Margaret
President of Langara College Lane Trotter; Parliamentary Secretary for Technology Rick Glumac; Surrey Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh; Minister Mark; me; President of Kwantlen Polytechnic University Alan Davis (all of whom, except Rachna and me, are SFU alumni)
Mechatronics Engineering student XingLu Wang, Minister Mark, Surrey School District Superintendent Jordan Tinney, me
President of the B.C. Tech Association Jill Tipping and Minister Mark