VIU - Vancouver Island University

DLI Number: O19395299688



School Type:



Nanaimo, Vancouver

Max programs per application:


Application fee:

150.00 CAD

Vancouver Island University enrolled its first students in September 1969 as Malaspina College, named after Captain Alessandro Malaspina, who explored Vancouver Island. Registration in the first year was over 600 students, almost double what was initially expected. In 1976, after seven years at the original campus in the old Nanaimo Hospital building at 388 Machleary Street, Malaspina College moved to its new campus on Fifth Street (the present location of VIU) on former Department of National Defense land adjoining the existing Nanaimo Vocational Training School, which had offered trades programs since 1936. In anticipation of construction of a new campus, Malaspina College had merged administration with the existing vocational school in 1971.

Following a 1988 government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia, five community colleges in BC were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees, and these five institutions - Malaspina, Fraser Valley, Kwantlen, Cariboo and Okanagan—were renamed university colleges. Initially, they offered degrees through one of the three provincial universities.

Malaspina College had regional campuses in Nanaimo, Duncan, and Powell River by 1990.] In the 1990s, several at Malaspina promoted the idea of the institution offering something distinct—interdisciplinary bachelor's degrees in Liberal Studies — and in 1995 the institution was awarded the authority to offer degrees in its own right. In 1995, the province of British Columbia enacted legislation changing the institution's name to Malaspina University-College and allowed it to begin granting academic degrees and college diplomas. Malaspina University-College's Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on May 20, 1995.

Malaspina University-College was designated a university under an amendment of the University Act and officially began operation as Vancouver Island University on September 1, 2008.

Vancouver Island University's first president was Dr. Carleton Opgaard. The first chancellor was Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, who in 2009 became the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. When VIU appointment Chief Atleo as Chancellor, he became the first Indigenous person to hold this position in British Columbia.


Campus locations


2011 University Way

Duncan, British Columbia, V9L 0C7, Canada


900 Fifth Street

Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R 5S5, Canada

Powell River

100 - 7085 Nootka Street

Powell River, British Columbia, V8A 3C6, Canada

VIU - Vancouver Island University