Vancouver Island University
Vancouver Island University (VIU) is a Canadian public university serving Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia. Starting as Malaspina College in 1969, it has grown into a university that plays an important role in the educational, cultural, and economic life of the region. The main campus is located in Nanaimo, and there are regional campuses in Duncan and Powell River, as well as a centre in Parksville. Vancouver Island University enrolled its first students in September 1969 as Malaspina College, named after Captain Alessandro Malaspina, who explored Vancouver Island. Following a 1988 government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia, five community colleges in BC were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees, and these five institutions — Malaspina, Fraser Valley, Kwantlen, Cariboo and Okanagan—were renamed university colleges.
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