University description (as per official university website)
Established in 1874, OAC is a founding college of the University of Guelph, ranked as Canada's top comprehensive research university. The college provides innovative life sciences education and research for agriculture, food, the environment and rural communities in Canada and around the world.
Through our activities across a province-wide network of campuses and research facilities, the University of Guelph is ranked as Canada's outstanding university for its contributions to agriculture and food.
Our education programs focus on preparing tomorrow's industry and policy leaders through a multi-disciplinary approach and an emphasis on experiential learning. More than 3,000 students are enrolled in OAC's diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs led by award-winning faculty. Professional development and skills training through short courses, continuing and distance education options round out our program roster.
OAC's research activities span a broad range of topics across our communities of interest, from food safety and biotechnology through international development and animal welfare. The College hosts regional, national and international Research Centres and Institutes and several Canada Research Chairs.
A History of Change and Adaptation
The tradition of education at Guelph began in May, 1874, when the Ontario School of Agriculture opened its doors. In 1880, the name of the institution was changed to the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and Experimental Farm.
In 1964, the University of Guelph was born through an act passed by the Government of Ontario that brought together OAC and two other colleges: Macdonald Institute, and the Ontario Veterinary College.
Today's OAC has evolved into a far-reaching, research-intensive network of campuses, facilities and partnerships. Diverse educational and research programs serve the needs of an increasingly urban population, providing innovation and leadership for the global community. Our budget is approximately $90 million p.a., and each year we provide $1 million in OAC scholarships and bursaries for outstanding students. Recent innovations include major new programs in organic agriculture, greenhouse technology, and biomaterials from plants for the transport industries.
Looking Ahead — Our Commitment
For research: OAC will continue to support the research needs of its traditional clientele, while developing new uses and applications of living things ("bioresources") to improve the quality of our environment, maintain the competitiveness and well-being of Ontario and serve the global community.
For education: we will continue to improve the broad educational experience of students in OAC programs across our four campuses, through international opportunities and in collaboration with partner institutions in Canada and around the world. We will increase access to learning opportunities through enhanced skills training and lifelong professional education with an emphasis on distance education.
For the community: We will continue to strengthen our Business Development Centres, Research Centres and Institutes, and international development programs to provide effective outreach and meet tomorrow's needs.