Education and Services in French Now Protected

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2015

More than ever, the world's largest bilingual (French-English) university is reaffirming its commitment to La Francophonie. The University of Ottawa is proud to announce that it has been designated to provide undergraduate services and programs in French under the French Language Services Act (FLSA). This designation guarantees the continuation of services and programs in French for future generations.

“Education in French is central to our institution and we are determined to serve the community and provide young Francophones with a chance to study and grow in a Francophone environment.  We firmly believe that this designation has rewarded our efforts and is the next step in our ongoing commitment to this cause,” said Allan Rock, President and Vice-Chancellor.

Bilingualism and La Francophonie are one of the four pillars found in the University of Ottawa's strategic plan, Destination 2020. According to the University of Ottawa Act, 1965, one of the University's core missions is to preserve and develop French culture in Ontario.

“This designation recognizes the University of Ottawa's ongoing commitment to providing Francophones and Francophiles with unique opportunities to pursue their studies in French. This designation will have a significant and positive impact on the development of Ontario's Francophone community and the future of all Ontarians,” said the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General for Ontario and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

“On Franco-Ontarian Day, and in a year where our province is celebrating 400 years of Francophone presence, our government is proud to grant the University of Ottawa partial designation as a French-language service provider. We recognize the importance of providing students in Ontario with a world-class French-language postsecondary education in a Francophone environment, and I look forward to further enhancing our partnership with the French-language community to unlock the potential of a world-class education,” added Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

This designation is the culmination of nearly four years of discussions aimed at clarifying how the act would apply to a complex, decentralized, bilingual organization like the University of Ottawa. A careful analysis of the legislation's impact on specific circumstances was conducted to identify potential problems and find innovative solutions. Ongoing consultations with various Ontario government agencies and the university community completed the process.

“Yesterday's announcement was not the final word on designation,” said Sébastien Grammond, professor at the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, who coordinated the University's efforts to obtain the designation. “The University is committed to reviewing the scope of the designation once we've had enough experience in applying it. So, in three years' time, we may consider designating graduate programs, and other programs and services not currently covered by the designation.”

For more information on the designation, visit the Designation - French Language Services Act website.

The University of Ottawa – A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada's top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today's challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

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