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Why Polytechnic?

A polytechnic education offers a distinct third option between university and college – one that combines the deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience. At Humber, we believe this unique combination gives our students the very best chance to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

The polytechnic model of education is well established and highly regarded across Canada and around the world. Along with an emphasis on hands-on learning and practical experience, it incorporates the following elements:

  • Industry partnerships – career-focused, community-responsive education and research that is relevant to the existing job market and developed in partnership with employers.
  • Comprehensive range of credentials – programming across a wide range of credentials and fields of study, using a variety of delivery methods including day, evening and online classes. Credentials can include bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, graduate certificates, certificates and apprenticeships.
  • Pathways – effective and efficient pathways between credentials to recognize previous learning and allow students to build on their prior education.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship – a unique blend of theoretical, applied and breadth learning, including relevant work experience and multiple opportunities for experiential learning and entrepreneurship.
  • Applied research – opportunities for students to partner with faculty and industry to solve real-world problems through applied research.

As University of Saskatchewan researcher Ken Coates wrote in a 2013 editorial in The Globe and Mail:

Canada’s postsecondary system has to align itself much more closely with the current and future needs of Canadian young people and the rapidly shifting national and international economy. We need responsive, specialized and career-ready programs…we need young people with the skills that business and government require and research that moves quickly from the laboratory bench to the marketplace. Polytechnics play precisely these roles.