Questions asked from time to time.
1. By mostly Vancouver BC callers: [by mostly Others, see block 2 below]
Q. Can you send a catalogue?
A. Individual on-campus program catalogues must be secured directly from the constituent/affiliate college. All documentation relating to the aggregate-learning ('external') degree process is on this website for print-out.
Q. Do you have Canadian immigration authorization to admit foreign students to ESL studies?
A. Yes, and for all our other programs.
Q. Did former Premier Clark ever honour his promises to BC Montessori Teachers College?
A. No. Former Education Minister Sihota subsequently convinced him that BC is too poor to give any help (stated reason).
Q. Is funding that important? What about the enhanced status BCMTC / VanU were promised?
A. We seek poor as well as affluent students. We need special recognition for matching-donations. Former federal student funding needs replacement. Etc.
Q. Is BCMTC a BC ECE pre-licencing program?
Yes, and our past Elementary Teacher grads are widely employed too, in public and independent schools here and abroad.
Q. When is Whistler College - embracing our former Whistler Institute - going to happen?
A. When donors appear to the Whistler College society.
Q. Your website in places is quite blunt. How come?
A. For decades our print materials and political compromises were too polite.
2. By (local and) mostly other callers:
Q. Can the 'external degree' fee be deducted from income tax?
A. Most fees (registration, examination, dissertation, graduation, as applicable) are paid to us by the candidate's employer, or by the candidate as self-employer, and are a deductible business expense. Where courses are taken to complete a requirement they usually may be deducted from personal income - but the differing regulations of IRS, Revenue Canada, and other countries vary in their treatment of full-time / p-time programs and between in-class / distance learning. For the treatment of such courses, inquire directly to the provider of the course or to the relevant taxation department. Similarly, for affiliated on-campus programs, inquire directly to the affiliate college or collaborating institute.
Q. Is yours the big Vancouver campus poking out into the sea between the airport and the mountain?
A. No, that's UBC. We are a bunch of little programs (gems, of course) dotted here and there.
Q. Why has X never heard about you?
A. [Who at X - the temporary receptionist? Registrar? Librarian?]. We are the only Canadian (and other) university which is non-profit independent and secular. Others are either public (and secular) or religiously-based. Individuals in government offices, public institutions, publishers of directories, etc - across Canada and outside Canada - often do not know that Vancouver University is statutorily-authorized but structured in other than the two usual Canadian categories; or they don't want to establish a third directory category for just one reference; or they have a bias - such as that only public universities should be allowed or acknowledged, etc. But in various subjects, and in places which do not have a competitive or ideological axe to grind, we are well-known and highly respected. The media are not very helpful. Did you read in 1997 that the AAUA announced us runner-up in the prestigious global Khaladjian Award competition for Innovation in Higher Education (winner NY State U)? No, you didn't read it, because not a single newspaper or magazine - not even the locals in Vancouver BC or Bellingham WA - bothered to report the item. Also, you won't usually find us in 'authoritative' directories of universities, because we don't pay to be in them. Here is more about why we have operated in particular ways in past and recent years.
Q. [American] Are you accredited? + [Canadian] Are you authorized by statute?
A. Member colleges of the consortia are variously and appropriately registered or accredited and our degrees authorized in statutory context. American (and culturally-confused Canadian) readers please note: outside the United States, universities are authorized in various ways - Royal charter, Papal charter, historic Common Law and/or Parliamentary statute. Although we had long-standing recognized presence in Washington State, and additionally authorized within the Alberta Universities Act, we are primarily constituted by British Columbia statutes and various British Commonwealth Common Law precedents. Vancouver University's statutory context is the BC society and company acts, enhanced by a Common Law tradition of academic freedom which emerged from early struggles first with the Crown and later with clergy. Vancouver University has a formal constitution granting it authority to conduct "university work" (the traditional British Commonwealth terminology for degree-granting programs, when married to "university" and "university college" identity). The statutory basis for secular non-profit Vancouver University's award of degree thus includes its constitution; the presumption arising from its statutorily awarded descriptive name; and the fact that such name and presumption was specifically authorized by the Ministry of Advanced Education in 1983 and (enhanced) 1992. Like BCIT, Kwantlen University College, and Technical University of BC (all three public), we (non-profit secular) are not a member of the AUCC - nor is it (unfortunately) a comprehensive quality assurance process.
Q. Will X recognize your degree?
A. [Who at X - the temporary receptionist...?]. Ask X. Make sure the right person at X has access to the full documentation of this website, including directory acknowledgments - as linked at the top of the welcome page from which you just arrived. Given full knowledge of our history and functioning a wide variety of universities, colleges, professional organizations, federal-, provincial- and state agencies etc have recognized our courses, programs, and degrees. Beware, however, that in some such matters - like teacher certification - there is a bewildering array of national, state, provincial etc regulations reflecting a host of ideological, cultural, political and economic "turf protection" factors involved. If your place of jurisdiction - and intended profession therein - generally accepts (and most do) an external or research-based degree for certification purpose, you still need to make sure that the specific content of your degree from us includes any specifically-required (by the jurisdiction and profession) courses, course-levels, etc. We cannot advise you about such details. You absolutely have to clarify the matter with the people who are going to say yes or no to the outcome. See also the Q/A about accreditation above.
Q. Are you keen about distance learning courses?
A. Yes. See the bottom text of the welcome page you just came from. But whenever possible, on-line distance learning is preferably also accompanied by one or more supplementaries - experiential (field or work-place) learning, relevant conferences, print textbooks, substantial multi-media (e.g., fully illustrating a phenomenon such as plant growth by time-lapse sequencing rather than flashy pictures which basically convey no content), voice, and visual conversation. Until the holodeck is fully with us, we prefer distance learning reinforced by supplements like the VanUC.
Q. Does WES.org positively evaluate your degrees to AMS and credible American universities?
A. Yes, current alumni-reported examples (June 2003): Maria E. Garcia, to AMS; Judilyn M. Powers, to National University; etc.
Q. Why, for external degrees, do you seem to ignore grades and sometimes even course levels?
A. Candidates bring forward valid credits from a wide variety of learning contexts. Short of re-examination in all subjects and courses, it is extremely difficult to mold these past experiences to a common format of grades and standings. [In this context, grade inflation in North American - particularly American - colleges and universities has gone ballistic during recent decades. People earn grades in the United States which in, say, most British universities, would be considered silly. Should grades reflect an outcome knowledge of a subject as compared with the general population? Or compare with other students who happen to be in class that semester? Or those who took the course last year?]. We do consider grades and discount marginal learning outcomes, appropriately to context.
Q. Why, for external bachelor degrees, do you not have a requirement for upper-level as well as broad introductory courses? And your master degree?
A. A person with an introductory knowlege of a broad variety of disciplines deserves academic recognition - just as does the person with a more narrowly focussed education. In some professions - including that of primary or elementary teacher - a broad general studies preparation is of particular benefit to the recipient and to society at large. For similar reason, unless clearly intended and indicated as a narrowly-focussed extension of a prior undergraduate focus (major, honours, reading, special mention - in North American / British terminologies) the master degree can appropriately at times be further studies aggregated to an otherwise unrelated bachelor degree. Even in such a general studies framework, a particular focus or concentration is nevertheless present when the master candidate provides a thesis in lieu of a second post-bachelor year.
Q. How does your external degrees process compare with (public) Charter Oaks and Thomas Edison?
A. Ours is a year or so older than the American ones - but a century younger than those of the
U of London and U of South Africa! We all service somewhat different subject matters and charge fees in
differing frameworks. Vancouver University Worldwide's framework is that - after determining from our extensive
documentation whether the intended degree meets your particular employment or other need - you then register
(token $100), and eventually pay a comparatively modest overall fee at graduation. Some candidates need to pay
special examination or dissertation fees along the way, but unlike other comparable programs, Vancouver
University Worldwide does not generally operate on a structure of 'stacked' or 'escalating' fees. About a quarter
of our candidates never complete the process to graduation. The revenue downside of that is that we
spend considerable unremunerated staff time advising candidates towards degree completion - only to have a
fair number of them then give up on it, for whatever reason (such as being required to take additional courses or
experiential learning, having difficulty completing a dissertation, etc). The net-cost and moral (and staff morale)
upside is that during three decades we have spent very little staff time addressing fee-related matters.
Q. Why are you so slow?
A. We evaluate applications carefully and verify various particulars, etc. Evaluation may involve sending your file to adjunct faculty or referee in another location. We usually do not conclusively evaluate until we receive all documents referred to by the candidate. The application form instructs candidates to arrange for any past-studies transcripts be sent directly from the relevant institution, where possible. (Where it is not possible, we still may have ways of verifying past studies). It sometimes takes weeks before we receive the transcript which you may have requested last week and assume will reach us in a few days. Registries, including ours, often have considerably fluctuating work loads but steady staffing level. Did you respond to our last request for an item, a clarification, a verification or whatever? If we don't hear from you after our last consultation, we assume you have changed your mind. We don't usually send reminders (other than this one!) or invoice for published fees. Your application, credentialing, and graduation is best primarily self-motivated, self-energized. We enjoy being helpful - and are busy being helpful!
Q. Why don't you have on-line credit-card registration?
A. Because we want candidates to register with considerable deliberation. We do lose candidates that way. Similarly, we lose some prospective candidates by alerting them to alternatives at various points in our site. We prefer candidates who have carefully considered comparable options
Q. Don't external degrees seem sort-of like unbearable diploma-mill stuff?
A. Only at first glance. The context, content, and motive (we are a registered charity in both Canada and the USA) are recognizably different. Commencing with the associate degree in 1970, we are proud to conduct a much appreciated and well regarded degree-workshop: Opus - lateritia, lithostratum, musivum, nullus anglicanum.
Most of the above topics are further addressed in various sections of this website.