THUNDER BAY – Ontario is investing in new technology that will provide students in Kenora and Sioux Lookout with an interactive university experience. “By investing in this project, we are helping Lakehead University train northerners closer to home and ensuring that students continue their learning to prepare for the marketplace. I congratulate Lakehead for working with other community partners to enhance learning opportunities for residents across the Northwest,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the NOHFC.
With an investment of $1 million from the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), Lakehead University is establishing immersive technology telepresence systems in Kenora and Sioux Lookout. The life-size screens will allow students to feel as though they are present in the classroom by supporting communication, providing access to interactive functions such as touch-screens, and reducing travel costs.
“Our government’s investment in this interactive technology project will train students and help connect the community to services such as training sessions, professional support and video-conferencing. This is an important investment for Lakehead, one of Northern Ontario’s most innovative academic institutions,” added Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
Investing in post-secondary education in the North is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Through this project, Lakehead University is working with Confederation College, Contact North and the Keewatin Patricia District School Board to bring courses to learners in the Northwest.
- Since 2003, the NOHFC has invested more than $1 billion in 6,620 projects in Northern Ontario, creating or sustaining more than 25,300 jobs.
- In the Thunder Bay region, the NOHFC has invested $162 million in 1,330 projects, creating or sustaining more than 5,180 jobs, since 2003.
- The NOHFC’s investments in post-secondary education are an important part of the Ontario government’s Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.
“Investments in modern, innovative solutions, such as Lakehead’s immersive technology project, are vital to our province’s future economic growth. Now students in Kenora and Sioux Lookout will have access to state-of-the-art technology, which will give them the skills and knowledge they need for the 21st century economy, closer to home,” stated Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation.
“This investment allows Lakehead University to further its plan to bring exceptional post-secondary education opportunities to Northern Ontario using telepresence classrooms. This engaging technology offers students of all ages the very peak of fully-immersive, distance learning environments right in their own community,” concluded Dr. Brian Stevenson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University.