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Cape Breton University (CBU), formerly known as the "University College of Cape Breton" (UCCB), is a Canadian university in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Located near Sydney, CBU is the only post-secondary degree-granting institution on Cape Breton Island. The university is enabled by the Cape Breton University Act passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Prior to this, CBU was enabled by the University College of Cape Breton Act (amended). The University College of Cape Breton's Coat of Arms were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on May 27, 1995.
CBU is an ordinary (full) member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU), as well as an Associate Member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
CBU traces its roots to 1951 when the St. Francis Xavier University Sydney Campus was opened as a satellite campus of St. Francis Xavier University. Also referred to informally as "St. Francis Xavier Junior College" or "Xavier Junior College" (XJC) and colloquially as "Little X", the St. Francis Xavier University Sydney Campus was situated in Sydney's central business district and saw several buildings opened as a result of growth during its first decade of operation.
While working as librarian at Xavier Junior College, Mother St. Margaret of Scotland (Sister Margaret Beaton) recognized that documents of historical significance to Cape Breton Island were being lost. In 1957 Sister Beaton responded to this challenge and established Cape Bretoniana.
The Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology (NSEIT) opened in 1968 on Grand Lake Road (Trunk 4) several kilometres east of the Sydney city limits. This institution focused on business technology and trades and its development was largely enabled by federal and provincial funding at a time when the coal and steel industries in Industrial Cape Breton were facing serious financial challenges.
In the early 1970s, the provincial and federal governments, as well as the local community, recognized the need for developing an institution of higher learning in the economically challenged Industrial Cape Breton region. With assistance from the Cape Breton Development Corporation, St. Francis Xavier University Sydney Campus and NSEIT were merged into the College of Cape Breton (CCB) in June 1974.
In 1980, the former NSEIT campus on Grand Lake Road was expanded as the institution consolidated at this location. The Government of Nova Scotia granted CCB a charter for granting university degrees in 1982 which saw the institution rename itself as the University College of Cape Breton (UCCB). UCCB united diverse education streams such as the liberal arts and sciences with technological and vocational diploma programs.
In 2004, UCCB undertook several studies on how to better position the institution locally, regionally and nationally. One recommendation arising out of these studies was to rename the institution to remove the reference to "college", in recognition of its transformation over the past two decades into primarily a university level institution. This process led to UCCB transferring its trades and technology programs to the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) which operated its "Marconi Campus" (the former NSEIT) which is co-located on the Grand Lake Road campus.
On September 23, 2004 the university's board of governors voted unanimously to rename the institution Breton University, however the proposed name received opposition from a number of groups in the institution and local community over the removal of the word "Cape" from the proposed new name, thus the name Cape Breton University was adopted instead. The name change became official through the University College of Cape Breton Act (amended) which received Royal Assent on May 19, 2005.
The original CBU campus structures were built in the 1960s. A major expansion was undertaken for the 1987 Canada Winter Games which saw extensive sports facilities built at the campus. During the 1990s over $20 million were spent on several campus expansions that saw residences, a Culture and Heritage Centre, and various academic and research facilities constructed. The Culture and Heritage Centre includes the Great Hall, the Art Gallery, the Folklore Department, and the Beaton Institute.
The university continued to expand with major campus additions initiated in 2009. As a collaborative player, CBU became a lead partner in the establishment of the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex. The $10 million project is a newly opened health and recreation community facility situated on the CBU campus. It provides CBU students and the community with access to a track and field operation and year round indoor soccer facilities as well as a fitness centre.
CBU is growing in terms or residence and enhanced food services through the construction of Harriss Hall, a new student residence and dining hall, in September 2010, giving the campus a total of four residences. Harriss Hall is also the new location for residence mail services, replacing MacDonald, and holds the office of the Residence Life Coordinator. With this new addition, the residence halls now offer meal service and living space for over 550 students.
The four residences on campus include Cabot Residence, MacDonald Residence, Harriss Hall, and Alumni Hall. MacDonald offers single and double rooms, Harriss offers single suites, Cabot offers four-bedroom apartments, and Alumni offers five-bedroom apartments along with two-bedroom dorms.
The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability & The Environment, a research facility oriented toward researching environmentally friendly methods to generate energy along with extensive research into mine water management & environmental remediation, research areas headed by Dr. Martin Mkandawire and Dr. Ken Oakes, respectively.
CBU's newest addition, the Shannon School of Business houses the offices of all professors of in the Faculty of Business and is home to the MBA CED degree program.
The establishment of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & Environment (CSEE) is a major part of CBU’s commitment to growth in research, specifically in efforts to balance needs for new sources of energy and increasing environmental sustainability. With public and private investment, construction on the CSEE began in 2010. Additionally,in 2012, the new Shannon School of Business building opened and became the new home of the Shannon School of Business faculty and programs
CBU is represented in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) association by the Cape Breton University Capers. Men's teams include basketball and soccer, while women's teams include basketball, soccer and volleyball teams. All sports teams wear uniforms with the Caper logo and mascot along with the school color (orange).
The CBU Students' Union list includes the following societies:
- Biology Society
- CBU Celtic & Gaelic Society
- CBU Conservative Association
- Chemistry Society
- Christian Student Society
- CBU Debating Society
- Education Society
- Enactus (formerly SIFE)
- Engineering Society
- French Club
- Global Brigades
- International Students Society
- Math Society
- Nursing Society
- Orange Army
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Political Science Society
- Pre-Law Society
- Pre-Med Society
- Psychology Society
- Public Health Society
- Saudi Society
- Save The Children
- Track and Field Society
- Volunteer Society
At CBU, you’ll discover the effect you’re going to have in the world. With one-of-a-kind programs, small class sizes and an energetic campus life, CBU will quickly become more than your university—it will become your home away from home!
Putting Students First
CBU is excited to teach the best and brightest—that’s why we offer $1.8 million in scholarships each year, and entering students with an 85+% average are considered for entrance scholarships! We’ve also made the largest investment in student services of any university in Nova Scotia, meaning if there’s something you need, we can make it HAPPEN.
Your Education, Your Way
As a CBU student, you’ll benefit from incredible value with some of the most affordable tuition rates in Nova Scotia from a university that’s earned the highest senior year “excellent” student satisfaction ranking (Maclean’s, 2013).
With unique course offerings and one of the most favourable student-professor ratios in the country, CBU students develop the skills they need to find their place in the world. Undergraduate degrees include:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Arts Community Studies
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Education
- Bachelor of Engineering Technology
- Bachelor of Health Sciences (Public Health) *The only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada
- Bachelor of Hospitality & Tourism Management
- Bachelor of Science, Nursing
- Bachelor of Science
- and more!
CBU has several graduate studies programs in development, and currently offers:
- Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development *The only one of its kind in North America
- Master of Education in Information Technology
There’s No Place Like Cape Breton Island
CBU is as distinct as the island it’s named after. Cape Breton Island is an amazing backdrop for your time at university. From the Bras D’or lakes to the stunning Cabot Trail, there’s a reason that Cape Breton Island is consistently voted one of the most beautiful islands in the world! Located in Sydney, CBU students will have plenty of opportunity to check out the natural beauty of the Island and be back with more than enough time for a night out with friends in the city.
In addition to degrees, CBU offers numerous certificates, diplomas, transfer programs and articulation agreements