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Laurentian University -- commerce is king.

Scroll through the faculty roster of Laurentian University's school of commerce and administration and there's a noticeable international flavour.

Many of Laurentian University's (LU) faculty have vast international experience having studied or arrived from Europe, Africa, China and India.

Dr. Huguette Blanco, Dean of the Faculty of Management, says recruiting faculty from abroad is not by design, but is more of a reflection of the Canadian population and the quality of people applying.

"There's a big demand across Canada for faculty members in business. All the universities are having problems recruiting," says Blanco.

Among Laurentian's hiring criteria is the ability to speak bilingually, which results in a good international mix.

That linguistic diversity on campus means many LU grads find opportunity with the federal government. Many of Blanco's students work in accounting with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

"We have students (working) across the world and who are well known within finance in Toronto and New York. The sports administration (grads) are well placed within organizations across North America.

The Sudbury campus offers a wide variety of programs from MBA's to four-year honours degrees in commerce, sports administration and e-business.

Commerce had the highest enrolment in 2006 with 631, topping Psychology (532), Education (365), Nursing (297) and Social Work (290).

The school of commerce is also a popular choice for international students from China, Mexico and Europe through student exchanges with several international universities.

Blanco says the small Sudbury campus, personal contact with instructors and a receptive environment is what attracts many to Northern Ontario. Unlike larger universities, the average Laurentian class size in first and second year ranges between 40 and 50 students which narrows to 20 to 40 by third and fourth year.

The school of commerce, which dates back to 1960, is modelled off the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business.


The programs make use of business case studies published by Ivey and Harvard enabling students to solve real business problems and participate in research projects sponsored by local businesses.

"They get very good value for the education they're receiving," says Blanco.

Laurentian strives to open up the commerce program to all, says Blanco. "We don't take only students with 80 per cent average in high school. They have to have at least 70 per cent.

"We work very closely with them, and when they succeed in the program and the vast majority do, they have a good grounding and education to work in business or not-for-profit organizations."

The Internet is viewed as a future growth area for Laurentian.

In 2003, the school began offering on-line degree problems for members of CGA-Canada (Certified General Accountants Association).

Plans are underway to expand their Internet-based offerings to other associations allowing professionals to further their academic credentials at the MBA level.

Blanco is also aiming for greater flexibility to cater to those who want part-time studies. "I think there's a market in town for young adults and people in their 30s and 40s who want part-time education."

She would also like to provide the opportunity for students to study abroad in their third or fourth years.

On the web:


Laurentian University


Student Population: 9,100

President: Judith Woodsworth

Established: 1960


Northern Ontario Business
COPYRIGHT 2007 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
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Title Annotation:Top Post-secondary Programs
Author:Ross, Ian
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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