education in the nanaimo region


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Nanaimo's public schools are administered by the District 68 School Board which serves Nanaimo and Ladysmith. SD68 offers a full range of programs from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and also have programs for pre-schoolers and adult learners.

  • There are more than 13,700 students enrolled in the district
  • 29 elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 7)
  • 6 secondary schools (Grades 8 to 12)
  • There are about 2,000 employees
  • Population of district (2011 Census): 113,570
  • An overall budget of $132.5 million of which $118.2 million is the operating budget

In addition to the provincial government curriculum, the District has a number of special programs, including an outstanding music program, work experience and career preparation, a modern languages program which includes French and Japanese and computer lab facilities.

Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University (VIU) offers diverse, comprehensive range of post-secondary programming that includes access to programs through web-based and on-line instruction, as well as certificates, diplomas, degrees and a masters program all designed to meet the diverse needs of the region. VIU has a main campus in Nanaimo and three other campuses in Cowichan, Parksville/Qualicum and Powell River.

The physical infrastructure at VIU's Nanaimo campus has undergone significant change and includes a new international building, a new state-of-the-art library, a new faculty of management building, a centre for shellfish research and a $13.2 million student residence expansion.

VIU has established strong international ties with post-secondary institutions, government, trade and industry organizations in 42 countries around the world.

VIU has grown into an educational, social, cultural and economic hotspot within the community, serving thousands of visitors each day. The Nanaimo campus not only provides and lends support to potential and current students, they also provide venues for cultural events, theatrical productions, sporting events, community celebrations and a wide range of other diverse activities that support the cultural diversity of the local community.

Vancouver Island University offers a variety of certificate, diploma, and degree programs. The programs provide training in academic, vocational, and technical fields and range from basic literacy to university degrees. Bachelor Degrees are offered in virtually every discipline and Master's degrees are offered in Business Administration, Education in Educational Leadership, Education in Special Education and Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management.

In 2013, Vancouver Island University completed its first regional economic impact study. This study revealed, among many other measures of note, that VIU has a total economic impact of $406 million. To view the full report, go to viu.ca/impact