Two Ontario colleges, Western and Brescia, to merge

Two institutions in Ontario, Western University and Brescia University College, announced last week that they would merge by the end of the 2023–24 academic year.

Brescia, a 104-year-old women’s college, has been operating as an affiliate of Western and two other universities in recent years, but it has more than 1,000 full- and part-time students of its own.

Its leaders said in a news release that the institution would cease independent operation after the current academic year.

“We are now at a point where women make up the majority of postsecondary learners in Canada and there is an equally important need to adapt to new realities, including the underrepresentation of equity-deserving groups in our postsecondary institutions,” Brescia’s president, Lauretta Frederking, said in the news release. “This agreement will better position us to enhance educational outcomes for students with the greatest needs.”

Western University said in its own statement that it would “assume all of Brescia’s assets and liabilities and will create a $25 million Brescia Legacy Fund to support scholarships, bursaries and programs for promising domestic and international students who may otherwise face barriers to university.”

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