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Major investment in French-language education at SFU

11/06/21
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Simon Fraser University (SFU) will receive more than $8.3 million in federal and provincial government funding to support access to French-language education.

The federal government is providing more than $3.3 million to help SFU respond to the growing demand from Francophone and Francophile students to receive their post-secondary education in French in British Columbia. 

“Having the opportunity to pursue an education in the language of one’s choice is essential if our two official languages are to remain vibrant right across the country,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “The investment we are announcing today goes beyond financial support for SFU—it is a commitment to young Canadians who wish to continue to develop their skills in French.” 

For its part, the B.C. government is investing $5 million to enable SFU to continue its role as a leader in post-secondary education in French in B.C.

“By broadening its French-language offerings, SFU is contributing to the development of our province’s Francophone community,” says Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

The government investments will enable SFU, through the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA), to pursue and advance initiatives, such as maintaining the French Cohort Program in public and international affairs, increasing the number of programs and courses available in French, and developing new ways to enrich student life in French. Over the longer term, this investment will provide the financial stability SFU needs to pursue its commitment to support a new generation of bilingual British Columbians and Canadians.

“With this funding, we will continue our efforts to provide a world-class university education in French accessible to Francophones and all students who wish to expand their professional and personal horizons through both official languages,” says SFU President Joy Johnson. “We are committed to offering an outstanding university experience with opportunities to learn in French and speak French outside the classroom in the context of social life, cultural activities, mobility programs, and bilingual careers.”

“For nearly 20 years, SFU has been a leader in Western Canada in post-secondary education in French and has promoted Canada's official languages, sharing the values and cultures of those linguistic communities." says OFFA Director Gino LeBlanc. He notes that the two official language communities are assets for all Canadians, set us apart from the rest of the world, and provide economic, social and cultural benefits. “SFU understands the importance of language and culture in the Canadian social fabric and has integrated this in its vision and curriculum,” 

In January, SFU was awarded the management of 75 bursaries, totaling $225,000, from the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) to encourage more young English-speaking students to pursue post-secondary studies in French to become bilingual. The full announcement is available here.

Visit the following website for a complete list of options available in French at SFU: https://www.sfu.ca/programs/french.html

Read the Canadian Heritage news release here.

The Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs is an administrative office at Simon Fraser University, which has a mission to coordinate, promote and provide support to the development of programs and courses offered in French. OFFA also organizes cultural and scientific activities within the community to promote a plural and inclusive Francophonie.

Simon Fraser University is a member of the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) and the Agence Universitaire de la francophonie (AUF).