Beyond the Burg: Canadian university guarantees graduates jobs

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October 2, 2009

12:37 AM

Canada’s University of Regina launched the UR Guarantee Wednesday, which promises meaningful jobs to students within six months of their graduation or a year of free classes. The school is the first Canadian university to offer such a guarantee.

“The quality of our teaching and research and our long history of partnership with Saskatchewan and nationally based companies is the foundation of the UR Guarantee,” University President and Vice-Chancellor Vianne Timmons said to the CNW Group. “Our university stands alone in making this commitment to our students.”

All 2009 undergraduate students at the institution with 30 or fewer credits are eligible to participate in the program. To qualify, they need to maintain an average of over 70 percent, participate in extracurricular activities and attend skills development workshops.

Additionally, they will participate in academic as well as career counseling through the Career Services department.

“They will have experiential learning activities,” Kevin Bolen, manager of Career Services at the university, said to the Regina Leader-Post. “They will be connected to employers all through their four years. It’s an incremental program that builds on itself, so from year one to year four they will have a wide array of activities that they participate in.”

The program is based on the UR Cooperative Program, which matches students with potential employers.

“Right now, 97 percent of our [co-op] students get employed in a career of their choice within six months. We want to push that to 100 percent,” Timmons said in a press conference, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

The university’s co-op program, which started over 40 years ago, has had more job placements than all other post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan combined and is available in over 50 disciplines.

“We’re very excited. It’s obviously going to appeal to students and almost acts like an insurance for students,” UR Student Union President Kyle Addison said to the Regina Leader-Post. “In this regard, we are the most innovative university in Canada right now. It’s just great to see the UR become the most innovative.”

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