Surrounded by pristine natural landscapes, vibrant cultures, and welcoming communities, Cape Breton University is home to more than 5,500 students from over fifty countries around the world. Offering a comprehensive set of liberal arts, science, business, health, and professional programs, the university is deeply committed to the future of Cape Breton Island, economic development and sustainability, and Indigenous educational leadership. Cape Breton University champions high-quality, accessible education; innovative research; and a vibrant, multicultural future for the Island.
Following years of community activism in the second-largest urban area of the province, Cape Breton University emerged as an autonomous post-secondary institution in 1974, though its roots extend back to the former Xavier Junior College, established in Sydney in 1951. Coal miners, steel workers, and Mi’kmaw chiefs advocated for a new future for their children, spurring CBU’s defining responsibilities to focus on local action: the institution would educate subsequent generations and support healthy development in the community. The university has remained committed to this core mandate while adapting to ever-changing circumstances and an increasingly international student population, as demonstrated by its newly articulated vision: Rooted in Cape Breton (Unama’ki), connected to the world.
In 2018, when the institution initiated an intensive and comprehensive strategic planning process, almost half of the more than forty consultation sessions consisted of community engagements across all four counties in Cape Breton. As the Island’s university, the engagement of community leaders, local business owners, alumni, and the chiefs of Mi’kmaw communities in Unama’ki was critical for identifying the path forward for Cape Breton University. The resulting five-year plan set forth five strategic directions that would propel excellence in
Teaching, Research, and Service:
- invest in our students;
- champion the Island’s prosperity;
- indigenize the L’nu way;
- globalize with a difference; and
- empower faculty and staff.
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