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New university opens

Canada's newest university -- the University of Ontario Institute of Technology -- is officially open.

Classes at the new university, which was officially created by the provincial government in June 2002, will begin Thursday, Sept. 4. The university has the distinction of being Ontario's first laptop-based university.

"The university is providing outstanding educational opportunities for students, and more of the highly skilled professionals employers need," said Dr. Gary Polonsky, president and vice-chancellor of the university. "It will also help ease the provincial burden of the double cohort and become a respected centre of research."

The university offers innovative degree programs, accomplished faculty and deans from around the world, a new campus, and a steadfast commitment to providing students with a first-rate education and university experience, Polonsky added.

The university's first class of students, drawn from Ontario, Canada and internationally, numbers about 900. By 2010, the university's enrolment is projected to reach 6,500.

In 2003-04, the university offers nine career-focused bachelor's programs in biological science, commerce, education, integrated justice studies, manufacturing engineering, nuclear engineering, nursing, physical science and radiation science.

Nineteen new programs are planned for 2004-05. As the university continues to grow, more undergraduate, as well as graduate and doctoral programs, will be added.

Each student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology uses a current model of the IBM ThinkPad, and classrooms and labs are fully networked.

As well, major public areas of the campus feature wireless network access, enabling students to connect to the Internet, the student intranet and other electronic resources from just about anywhere on campus.

The university's first academic building and the first phase of a new residential village are ready for students. In addition, construction of two more academic buildings and a new, 55,000-sq.-ft. campus library will be completed in 2004.

Outdoor pathways and meeting places, along with a ground-floor colonnade to connect the library and academic buildings, will help create an atmosphere of a pedestrian-friendly academic village.

A world-class, year-round tennis centre and a championship, regulation soccer field will open this fall. Other athletic facilities, including a twin-pad arena, will be ready in 2005.

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