University description (as per official university website)
Athabasca University was established by Order in Council of the Government of Alberta on June 25, 1970. Originally conceived as a traditional campus-based institution, AU changed course in 1972 through a pilot project to test the concept of an open, distance university. The first AU course, World Ecology, was offered in 1973, and AUís first Convocation, for two graduates, was held in 1977. The university achieved self-governing status as Albertaís fourth public university on April 12, 1978.
By 1984, AU had outgrown its original facilities in Edmonton and, in accordance with the policy of decentralization favoured by the provincial government of the day, the university moved 145 kilometres north to the Town of Athabasca. Satellite campuses were established in Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alberta, to enable students to receive first-hand educational support services and to write invigilated examinations. The Fort McMurray location closed in 2000.
During the 1980s, in keeping with its mandate to explore new ways of delivering post-secondary education to students anywhere, any time, AU pioneered the use of computers to deliver online courses. AUís Executive MBA program, the world's first online EMBA, was introduced by AUís Centre for Innovative Management in 1994.
Today, AU is one of the worldís foremost and fastest growing online and distance education institutions, serving over 37,000 students worldwide.
Athabasca University, Canadaís Open University, is dedicated to the removal of barriers that restrict access to and success in university-level study and to increasing equality of educational opportunity for adult learners worldwide.
This About AU section of our website will help you to understand that mission, how we go about accomplishing it and how, in the process of doing so, we help thousands of learners every year to accomplish their personal goals and realize their dreams. Please take a few minutes to get to know us better.
Our approach to post-secondary education is based on four key principles: excellence, openness, flexibility and innovation.
* Excellence: We are dedicated to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, scholarship and student service.
* Openness: We are committed to our mission of guaranteeing access to post-secondary learning to all who have the ability and desire. If you are 16 or older, you are eligible for admission to undergraduate study.
* Flexibility: Our flexible learning model adapts to your needs, putting you in the driverís seat. You can enrol in most programs and register for most courses at any time of the year and work at your own pace, studying at home, at work or wherever you may find yourself.
* Innovation: We continue to adopt and develop new, learner-centred learning models and technology-based alternatives to traditional, classroom-based instructional channels and contexts. We apply technology to make learning accessible.