Our History

Over 75 Years of Lifelong Learning at UBC

UBC's commitment to continuing education is rooted in the earliest days of the university's history, but began more formally in 1936 when the Department of University Extension was formed to recognize that "in a complex society such as ours, learning must be a continuous process through life." (Dr. L.S. Klinck, A Plan for Adult Education in British Columbia, an address to the Vancouver Institute, November 1935)

Fast forward to the present, and UBC Extended Learning remains committed to the vision of our founders.

Today, we work with UBC faculties to provide flexible career- and life-enhancing education programs to the communities we serve. It’s part of our mandate to share UBC excellence in academics, teaching, and research and strengthen our contribution to learners, society, industry, and government.

Key Milestones

1915 First extension work at UBC in agriculture and mining
1936 Department of University Extension established
1970 Centre for Continuing Education established
1991 UBC Continuing Studies established
1995 UBC Continuing Studies introduces one of the first 100% web-based courses
1997 Continuing Studies building opens
2001 UBC Robson Square opens
2012 UBC Continuing Studies celebrates 75 years of lifelong learning
2017 UBC Continuing Studies evolves into UBC Extended Learning with an extended mandate to support faculties in growing and expanding UBC’s offerings related to Career and Personal Education. Learn more about our evolution from UBC Continuing Studies.

UBCx becomes part of UBC Extended Learning, offering courses through online education provider edX.

2018 Dr. Simon Bates is appointed Associate-Provost, Teaching and Learning to provide academic leadership and oversight to a newly created portfolio of UBC Extended Learning and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.
2019 The UBC English Language Institute celebrates 50 years of excellence in English language education.

Find Out More

Detailed information about our history is available in Transformations: A History of UBC Continuing Studies.