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University College of Cape Breton
The University College of Cape Breton is a university college in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, near Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the island of Cape Breton. It has an enrollment of around 3,500 students.
UCCB traces its roots to 1951 when the "St. Francis Xavier University Sydney Campus", also referred to as "Xavier Junior College" (XJC), was opened in downtown Sydney as a satellite campus of St. Francis Xavier University. Growth during the 1950s saw several buildings opened on this site.
In 1968 the "Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology" (NSEIT) opened in 1968 on the Sydney-Glace Bay Highway, immediately east of Sydney. 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 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 federal Crown corporations Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Cape Breton Development Corporation, XJC and NSEIT were merged into the "College of Cape Breton" (CCB) in June 1974.
In 1980, the former NSEIT campus was expanded as the instution consolidated at this location. The provincial government granted CCB a charter for granting university degrees in 1982 which saw the institution rename itself as the "University College of Cape Breton".
Since then, UCCB has united diverse education streams such as the liberal arts and sciences with technological diplomas and trades. A major expansion was undertaken for the 1987 Canada Winter Games which saw extensive sports facilities built at the campus. During the 1990s, several campus expansions saw residences, a "Student, Culture, and Heritage Centre", and various academic and research facilities constructed. Student enrollment over the same period also roughly doubled in numbers.
Infamously, UCCB also saw a metre-high decorative wall made of local stone built around the campus perimeter after the 1993 federal election. This is reportedly a legacy of funding from federal Minister of Public Works David Dingwall. Both students and locals alike refer to it as the "Ding Wall", in a play on the former minister's surname.
Pending name change
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. On September 23, 2004 the university's board of governors voted unanimously to rename the institution "Breton University", however the proposed name received stiff opposition from a number of groups in the institution and local community over the removal of the word "Cape" from the new name. On February 24, 2005 the board adopted a compromise and the name "Cape Breton University" will be sent for legislative approval.
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