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Sunday, April 19, 2015

The University of Lethbridge expands education philosophy

"New program caters to entrepreneurial spirit" writes Melissa Villeneuve.

The University of Lethbridge has launched an innovative new program to expand its liberal education philosophy and further prepare students for life after graduation.

AGILITY, a program which will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, will be offered to students at both the Lethbridge and Calgary U of L campuses.

AGILITY was launched under the leadership of Lesley Brown, interim vice president- Research, and U of L alumnus Anil Pereira.

“It’s an experiential learning opportunity,” said Brown. “It’s designed to help support and nurture students who have an entrepreneurial spirit. What we want to do is provide supports to help develop students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills. We want to nurture their innovation and entrepreneurialism.”

The U of L has been developing the program for a couple years. It finally came to fruition after Cor Van Raay’s generous donation of $5 million last June, which created the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program jointly with Lethbridge College.

The AGILITY program will be built on three components: coursework, workshops and public lecture series.

Students will collaborate in flexible, open innovation spaces, with access to the latest software and technology such as virtual reality devices and 3D printers.

“It’s a hands-on experience to give students a chance to work together, to discuss and generate new ideas, and give them a chance to take those ideas and translate them into outcomes. Those outcomes could bring benefit to social and economic components of our province,” said Brown.

In Lethbridge, the Disruptive Imaginings Data Visualization Lab is situated on the eighth floor in the University Centre for the Arts.

While AGILITY will begin with a focus on agriculture and ag-business, it will eventually expand to include programs campus-wide.

A lecture series is scheduled for this fall, which will feature several prominent local and national speakers.

Scholarships and fellowships will also be set up. The first awards, the Cor Van Raay Scholarships and Cor Van Raay Fellowships, will be awarded to students focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in agribusiness and agri-technology.
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Source: Lethbridge Herald and ulethbridge Channel (YouTube)