History, Affiliations and Rankings
Athabasca University was established by Order in Council of the Government of Alberta on June 25, 1970. Originally conceived as a traditional campus-based institution, AU changed course in 1972 through a pilot project to test the concept of an open, distance university. Athabasca’s affiliation is with ACU, AUCC, CAGS, CBIE, CUP, CVU, IAU, MSCHE, and UArctic. Athabasca ranked #1636 in world Rankings, #417 in Continental rankings, and #47 in Country ranks. The university provides high-quality education to over 40,000 students via 850 courses with 55 undergraduate and graduate programs. Over the years, the university has entered more than 350 agreements to collaborate with other Canadian and international post-secondary institutions and employers. There is a total student enrollment of over 40,000 including international candidates from over 87 countries. This makes the university undoubtedly a site of diversity and inclusion in the country.
Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses
AU’s main campus was located in Edmonton, later which was later moved to Athabasca in 1984. The campus is majorly online and has both rural and urban set-ups on campus. AU’s Athabasca University is the main campus operating along with others in Edmonton, Calgary, and the Center for Innovative Management and AU Learning Link. Being an online university, the campus for distance learners is wherever they are learning from around the world. The institute is a non-residential campus, so there is no on-campus housing opportunity for students. AU is an online university offering a plethora of courses for international students including undergraduate courses and short-term visa graduate courses related to arts, science and professional studies. Some of the programs offered include Bachelor of Arts, Commerce, General Studies, Health Administration, Professional Arts, Management, Science, etc. They also have more than 850 courses available that can work as a pathway to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. These include Accounting, Finance, Nursing, Science, Business, etc.
Accomplishments and Alumni
Athabasca University is one of North America's first online universities and one of the world's fastest-growing digital-education institutions, teaching more than 43,000 students worldwide and offering many courses at the undergraduate, graduate, diploma and certificate levels. Maclean Magazine called it the fastest-growing university. The research Centre of Athabasca University is the primary centre that works along with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute and the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research. The university is also a participating member of the WestGrid Research NetworkSome of the alumni are Manmeet Bhullar (politician), Paul Boutilier (politician), Marilyn Burns (politician), Debby Carlson and Gary Carr (politician).
Student Diversity and Visiting Companies
Athabasca University (AU) has an incredibly diverse student body, with learners from all walks of life representing every Canadian province. The university campus is filled with students from over 87 countries, making the campus rich and diverse in culture. The University campus occasionally organizes various job fairs that help students get placed in the job market and grow their careers. Many reputed companies come here for the placement.