University of Northern British Columbia

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3333 University Way, Prince George V2N,
British Columbia Canada
The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is a small, research-intensive university, the main campus of which is located in Prince George, British Columbia. UNBC also has regional campuses in the northern British Columbia cities of Prince Rupert, Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St. John. The enabling legislation is the University of Northern British Columbia Act 1996. In the 2013-2014 academic year, 4,020 students were enrolled at UNBC. In 2015 and 2016, UNBC was ranked as the number one university of its size in Canada in the Primarily Undergraduate category by Maclean's Magazine. In 2007, the university obtained the trademark for "Canada's Green University". Because of its northern latitude, UNBC is a member of the University of the Arctic. The British Columbia legislature passed Bill 40 (the UNBC Act), which formally established the university, on June 22, 1990 The university was established in response to a grass-roots movement spearheaded by the Interior University Society. UNBC offered a limited number of courses in rented office space in 1992 and 1993 but was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II, with 1,500 students, in 1994 with the completion of the main Prince George campus after two years of construction. The university gained attention with the introduction of the Northern Medical Program (NMP), a collaboration between UBC and UNBC. Through this collaboration, several academic physicians have been attracted to the city, which has led to an emerging academic medical community. For example, the introduction of the BC Cancer Agency's Centre for the North has attracted academic oncologists, such as Dr. Robert Olson. The campus is located on Cranbrook Hill, overlooking the city of Prince George from the west, and is widely renowned for its innovative architecture. The separate buildings are linked by an agora that is partially below ground level. It is the efficient heating system connected to all the core campus buildings that permits UNBC to pursue its goal of heating the university by the gasification of clean-burning, renewable wood pellets, collected from the waste of pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. UNBC's buildings are designed to represent the northern landscape. The "Winter Garden" area has a flowing blue staircase below a ceiling of wooden lattices, representing the west-coast rain forests. The cafeteria has a lighthouse design representative of the North's rugged coastline. There are also other structures, such as triangular glass peaks, that represent mountains and act as sky-lights for the UNBC Bookstore. On October 13, 2010, UNBC was co-awarded the Campus Sustainability Leadership Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its bio-energy project, which targets a reduction in fossil fuel use by supplying 85% of UNBC's heating needs.

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