New science hub at UCalgary expected to boost capacity for STEM students

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New Science Hub
Alberta's Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney, centre, visits UCalgary to discuss a new science hub with Faculty of Science Dean Kristin Baetz and President Ed McCauley. Photo Credit: UCalgary

The University of Calgary (UCalgary) will soon begin construction on a new $55-million multidisciplinary science hub set to open in 2030.

This cutting-edge, provincially-funded hub will open doors for more students to engage with advanced science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) facilities and training at UCalgary.

As the new centerpiece of the Faculty of Science, the hub aims to bridge the STEM talent gap in Alberta by adding at least 2,000 new positions in science-related programs such as agricultural innovation, computer science, energy, quantum, biotechnology and aerospace.

Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor of UCalgary, expressed gratitude for the hub’s funding and noted its potential impact on acceptance rates. Only 14% of science applicants were admitted to UCalgary last year, compared to the university’s overall 88% acceptance rate. 

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“That’s going to change now, thanks to the government’s initial investment,” McCauley announced in a statement. “This will allow us to expand our capacity in science, producing the Alberta-trained graduates that our economy needs today, and will need more of tomorrow.”

Dr. Kristin Baetz, dean of the Faculty of Science, agreed. She acknowledged there have been challenges when it comes to growth, despite the university’s compelling research and strong reputation.

“Now, we will have science facilities to not just match our reputation but also to catapult us to new heights,” Baetz announced in a statement. “This hub will attract the brilliant minds necessary to drive future prosperity.”

The owned built environment of UCalgary exceeds 1 million m² over multiple campuses, with approximately half of the buildings being over 50 years old.

UCalgary will provide the initial $130 million of funding for 2024-25, with an additional $100 million to be raised through philanthropy and other funding sources. 

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