Western exploring new London partnerships as Continuing Studies returns to main campus

Frank Neufeld // Western News

Western Continuing Studies will relocate from Citi Plaza to Main Campus in Fall 2021, a move prompted by both an impending end to its current lease in downtown London and the ever-evolving demands of learners.

Western Continuing Studies will relocate from Citi Plaza to main campus in Fall 2021, as the university continues to explore local partnerships to deliver lifelong learning opportunities downtown and elsewhere in London.

Announced July 6, the move to main campus is prompted by both an impending end to Continuing Studies’ current lease and the ever-evolving demands of learners.

“There’s a growing trend in continuing education that we bring learning where the students are. Increasingly, those students are learning remotely, from their homes or offices,” said John Doerksen, Vice-Provost (Academic Programs).

“So, even as the upcoming end of our lease made us rethink where we deliver services, we also took a fresh look at how we envision learning will take place in the future. It’s become clear to us that we need to be more innovative in how we deliver our courses.”

Western remains committed to engaging in and with the broader London community, Doerksen said.

“We absolutely want to expand and deepen our community connections. A key part of our strategy now and in the next year is exploring new ways to bring learning to Londoners and those beyond our city looking for lifelong learning opportunities.”

Western Continuing Studies provides more than 100 professional courses, post-degree programs, workshops and certificate programs for adults in the London community and beyond – all taught by professionals working and researching in the field.

Courses have traditionally taken place face-to-face, online or as a hybrid of both. Since COVID-19 temporarily forced the closing of most physical learning spaces, Western Continuing Studies courses and workshops moved to online learning.

“We expect we will continue to expand our suite of online courses, in addition to offering face-to-face and hybrid offerings when public-health circumstances permit,” Doerksen said.

Western has also been exploring partnerships with Pillar Nonprofit Network, Museum London and others, to determine how best to continue delivering some courses and workshops within the broader London community.

“We’re still committed to having a footprint downtown, but also elsewhere in the community and online,” said Doerksen. “We need to be flexible enough to help meet the needs of lifelong learners wherever they are, whether that’s in person in a classroom or at their kitchen table.”