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Canada's Global University
The University of British Columbia
2004 / 05 Annual Report
towards 2010
Think Global: Raising the Bar at UBCThe Year in ReviewDefining - and Modeling - Global CitizenshipRecruiting Allies in a More Civil SocietyA Sustainable UBC - A Sustainable University TownInvesting in a New Generation - a New UBCDonors & EndowmentFinancial HighlightsSocial HighlightsEnvironmental HighlightsLeadershipContact / FeedbackPDF Version

Social Highlights

UBC recognizes the importance of setting an example for social sustainability. It is committed to growing its contributions to local communities, support for students, and progressive policies for faculty and staff.


Through the UBC Learning Exchange, 800 students gave assistance in 36 community organizations, including 17 schools and 19 non-profit organizations in the Downtown Eastside. In addition to the large portion that is purely volunteer work, there are now Community Service Learning options in 13 separate courses, offering academic credit for work conducted in the community.

The Learning Exchange has also begun to attract faculty, staff and alumni participation in community events. These include such things as volunteer building projects in inner city schools: for example, 30 volunteers from the UBC Finance Department participated in a project at Laura Secord School. Other events include a series of public lectures and concerts conducted by students and faculty at the Vancouver Public Library.

Approximately 50 inner city residents drop in daily at the Learning Exchange’s Main Street storefront, some taking advantage of computer workshops and ESL programs supported by HSBC Bank Canada.

UBC students also served the community through independent organizations like the Law Students Legal Advice Program. Between September 2004 and April 2005, 249 UBC law student volunteers spent 2,779 hours giving free legal advice and representation to 1,093 clients. During the summer, when some students are also employed full-time, 30 students (volunteers and employees) spent 4,142 hours giving free legal advice and representation to 1,818 clients.

The UBC Law School also has two Community Service Learning projects through which students can earn academic credit for delivering free legal services in the community. These include the Criminal Clinic and the First Nations Legal Clinic. In the latter, six students per term offer legal assistance to more than a thousand low income First Nations people per year, as well as offering assistance to and advocacy for First Nations band councils throughout the province.

In the newly renamed Faculty of Land and Food Systems (formerly the Faculty of Agriculture), the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm continues its community outreach and involvement through such things as: education programs for school-age and university students; weekly summer market gardens; and involvement with community groups such as the artist in residence program and a traditional Mayan Food garden built with members of the Vancouver Mayan community.

Land and Food Systems is also leading the 10-year UBC Avian Research program, using a $1.5 million contribution from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to conduct community-based research in the Fraser Valley on issues including economics and marketing, breeding stock, biology and genetics, environment, production management, food science, bio-security and disease impacts and control.

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