Education: opening doors What is a polytechnic?

Hayley Woodin

By: Hayley Woodin

Generally, a polytechnic institution is one that’s devoted to the instruction of many technical arts or applied sciences. From the Greek word polytechnos – with poly meaning many, and technē meaning art – a polytechnic college or university provides training in the art of both technical and practical sciences.

That’s by definition, anyway.

What a polytechnic encompasses  both in word and in practice, has changed since its first known usage in the first half of the 19th century.

Certainly over the last three decades, the Metro Vancouver post-secondary institution that has recently grown into Canada’s leading polytechnic university has expanded its programming and opportunities for learning.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University teaches arts and sciences, but it also offers intensive business courses, recognized design programs, and trades and technology training that target the needs of the province’s industries.

In keeping with the spirit of a polytechnic, KPU combines learning across several disciplines into its programs, and provides many ways to acquire an education – in the classroom, in the community, locally and abroad.

As a polytechnic university, KPU allows students a multitude of learning options that lead to many opportunities both at school, and post-graduation. KPU opens doors to bright futures and successful careers.

This Saturday, KPU will open its doors to students of all ages with the university’s fourth annual open house: A free community event that will showcase the institution’s excellent programming, services and learning experiences.

Like its mandate as a polytechnic, KPU’s open house will offer many engaging activities, with something for everyone: From flame throwing and a rocket launch, to mini lectures and presentations, magic shows and mind-bending optical illusions. Free tuition, Canucks tickets, an iPad and an education about the education offered at KPU will all be up for grabs at the university’s Surrey campus, at 12666-72nd Ave, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

On March 1, discover Canada’s leading polytechnic university, with an afternoon of hands-on fun and learning. For more information, visit:

Hayley Woodin is Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Media Specialist. KPU offers the Metro Vancouver area over 145 programs through campuses in Surrey, Cloverdale, Richmond and Langley. Learn about what over 18,000 students learn annually at