Concept

Universities Canada

Summary
Universities Canada (Universités Canada) is an organization that represents Canada's universities. It is a non-profit national organization that coordinates university policies, guidance and direction. Formed in 1911, as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), it represents 97 public and private not-for-profit Canadian universities and university colleges in Canada. It provides member services in public policy and advocacy, communications, research and information-sharing, and scholarships and international programs. In April 2015, the organization renamed itself "Universities Canada." Universities Canada is not a higher education accreditation body. Membership in the association requires universities to meet strict criteria and adhere to set principles of institutional quality assurance that must be reaffirmed every five years. This reinforces the recognition of a Canadian university degree around the world as a high-quality academic achievement. The association produces a number of publications, such as University Affairs magazine and the Directory of Canadian Universities. Universities Canada's arms, supporters, and badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on May 10, 2004. On 25 October 2011, Universities Canada, known then by its former name, announced a new "Statement on Academic Freedom" which was adopted unanimously by the membership at its centennial meeting. However, at least one critic has expressed the opinion that the Statement, drafted by academic administrators, essentially gives academic administrators the right to determine the limits of such freedom. Universities Canada works in an advocacy role with governments to promote higher education and awareness of the contributions Canada's universities make to the country. Its priorities are increasing funding for universities' operating and capital costs, research, and international programs, along with improved student assistance. It is also involved in the government's copyright reform process.
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