Road to the University of Ottawa

Study Abroad

The University of Ottawa is a bilingual public research university in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 42.5 hectares (105 acres) in the residential neighborhood of Sandy Hill, adjacent to Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. The university offers a wide variety of academic programs, administered by ten faculties. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
The University of Ottawa was first established as the College of Bytown in 1848 by the first bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, Joseph-Bruno Guigues. Placed under the direction of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, it was renamed the College of Ottawa in 1861 and received university status five years later through royal charter. On 5 February 1889, the university was granted a pontifical charter by Pope Leo XIII, elevating the institution to a pontifical university. The University was reorganized on 1 July 1965 as a corporation, independent from any outside body or religious organization. As a result, the civil and pontifical charters were kept by the newly created Saint Paul University, federated with the university. The remaining civil faculties were retained by the reorganized university.
The university is co-educational and enrolls over 40,000 students, over 35,000 undergraduate and over 6,000 post-graduate students. The university has more than 185,000 alumni.
The university’s main campus lies within the neighborhood of Sandy Hill. The main campus is bordered to the north by the ByWard Market district, to the east by Sandy Hill’s residential area and to the southwest and west by Nicholas Street, which runs adjacent to the Rideau Canal on the western half of the University. The main campus moved two times before settling in its final location in 1856. When the institution was first founded, the campus was located next to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. With space a major issue in 1852, the campus moved to a location that is now across from the National Gallery of Canada. In 1856, the institution moved to its present location.
The main campus is divided between its older Sandy Hill campus and its Lees campus, purchased in 2007. While Lees Campus is not adjacent to Sandy Hill, it is displayed as part of the main campus on school maps. Lees campus, within walking distance of Sandy Hill, was originally a satellite campus owned by Algonquin College.
The University of Ottawa Library is a network of twelve locations with holdings of more than 4.5 million titles in monograph and electronic form as of 2013. The main library is in Morisset Hall, which also houses the Media Library, Archives and Special Collections, and the Geographic, Statistical and Government Information Centre. The university has five other specialized libraries.
The University of Ottawa’s Museum of Classical Antiquities was established in 1975 as a teaching collection, operated by the Department of Classical and Religious Studies. Composed of artifacts which reflect daily life during the period from the 7th century BC to the 7th century AD, the permanent collection is enhanced by touring exhibitions.
Although most students live off-campus, the university has ten student residences.. Residents are represented by the Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa (RAUO). With a mandate to help improve the quality of life in residences, each building elects a representative to the association. The RAUO also provides a political representation on the behalf of the residents. Buildings may collect a small fee, known as the floor fund to pay for the group.
Off-campus faculties are located throughout Ottawa. The university owns and operates another campus located in Ottawa’s Riverview neighborhood, known as the Health Science or Alta Vista campus.
The Office of Campus Sustainability, established in 2006, coordinates, promotes and implements sustainable development activities. The Office of Campus Sustainability is headed by the Sustainable Development Committee. Membership of the committee comprises administrators, students, community groups and the City of Ottawa. Along with the other members of the Council of Ontario Universities, the University of Ottawa signed a pledge in November 2009 known as Ontario Universities Committed to a Greener World, with the objective of transforming its campus into a model of environmental responsibility. The university is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration.
Several programs from the university placed in the 2011 Corporate Knights rankings, which measures how well Canadian universities integrate sustainability into their curriculum. The University of Ottawa has implemented a variety of activities in order to increase sustainability across campus. The university has been working on creating a more sustainable campus through the efforts of the Office of Campus Sustainability.
Governance is conducted through the Board of Governors and the Senate, whose roles were established by the University of Ottawa Act, 1965. The Act describes their membership and powers, as well as their principal officers. The Board provides overall governance and management, including financial decisions and the implementation of policies and procedures.  . While not stipulated in the act, the board’s membership includes elected undergraduate and graduate student representatives along with other statutory members.
The Senate sets educational policies and the management of academic issues. Such powers include the ability to create and abolish faculties, departments, schools and institutes, academic regulations, admission standards, degree and diploma requirements. While not outlined in the act, the Senate includes students from each faculty along with other statutory members.
As stipulated in the act, the chancellor is the university’s titular head and is accorded a place of honour at commencement exercises and other functions and may preside at examinations. The chancellor is appointed by the board with the concurrence of the Senate and holds the office for one or more four-year terms.
Net assets as of 30 April 2014 stood at $1.387 billion. The University completed the 2013–2014 year with revenues of $989.269 million, expenses of $973.994 million and an excess of revenues over expenses of $15.275 million. The largest single source of revenue originates from operating grants, valued at $383.785 million for the 2013-2014 academic year. The second-largest source of revenue that year was tuition fees, which reached $326.792 million.[1] As of 30 April 2014, its endowment was valued at $233.880 million.
The university was registered as an educational charitable organization in Canada on 1 January 1967. As of 2014, the university was registered primarily as a post-secondary institution. The university’s Institutional Research and Planning department estimated that its students, staff, visitors and the institution itself brought in an estimated total of $4.12 billion into the local economy in 2011.
This research university is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. It functions on a semester system, operating fall/winter and spring/summer sessions. As of 2012, the university was the world’s largest English-French bilingual university. The university is one of the three bilingual universities in Ontario that is not federated with a larger university. Since its inception the university has seen itself as fostering English-French bilingualism. However, bilingualism was only made an official university policy in 1974 when the Government of Ontario passed An Act respecting Université d’Ottawa through the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  While the university maintains bilingualism as an official policy, students need not be bilingual. Instead, most courses and programs are offered in both languages.
The university has consistently been ranked one of Canada’s top universities. In the 2014-2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed the University 188th in the world and eighth overall in Canada. According to the 2014 Shanghai Jiaotong University Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings, the university ranked 201-300th in the world. The 2014 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 218th in the world.[95] In Maclean’s 2014 University Rankings, where the top Canadian universities are ranked, Ottawa placed 8th in Canada within the Medical Doctoral grouping.
Research at the University of Ottawa is managed through the Office of the Vice-President, Research. The university operates 40 research centres and institutes. The university is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. Research Infosource ranked the university Canada’s ninth most research intensive school for 2011, with 2010 sponsored research income of $273.278 million, averaging $213,300 per faculty member.  In terms of research performance, High Impact Universities 2010 ranked the university 180th in the world and ninth in Canada. In the same rankings, Ottawa ranked 98th in the world and seventh in Canada in the field of medicine, pharmacology and health sciences.
The University of Ottawa’s cooperative education program is an optional program which presents students with excellent work experiences and other various benefits the program has to offer. The program is offered for both undergraduate programs and certain graduate programs. The co-operative education program is designed to generally have students work full-time during altering semesters, in their area of study. One work term generally lasts 15 or 16 weeks. Every work term is a paid work term where students’ pay varies on the program of study related to their job.  The University of Ottawa’s co-op program is available for a wide range of programs for undergraduate students. Co-operative programs are offered in English and in French for certain programs. There are various programs offered in the following faculties: arts, social sciences, engineering, science and law.
Admission requirements differ between students from Ontario, other provinces in Canada and international students, due to the lack of uniformity in marking schemes.  Students may apply for financial aid such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program and Canada Student Loans and Grants through the federal and provincial governments. Aid may come in the form of loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, fellowships, debt reduction, interest relief and work programs.
The two main student unions on administrative and policy issues are the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) for all undergraduate students and the Graduate Students’ Association des étudiant.e.s diplômé.e.s (GSAÉD) for graduate students. Additionally, graduate (and undergraduate) students who are employed as research assistants, teaching assistants, markers, proctors, and lifeguards are members of CUPE2626, a local chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The union and the university are bound by a collective agreement. In addition, most faculties have student representative bodies. Resident students are represented by the Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa.[ More than 175 student organizations and clubs are officially accredited by the student union, covering interests such as academics, culture, religion, social issues and recreation.
Graduates have found success in many fields, serving as the heads of diverse institutions in both public and private sectors
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