Mount Royal’s college students will now be considered university students after the provincial government officially declared the school Mount Royal University.

After Metro broke the story last week, it was officially confirmed yesterday by Premier Ed Stelmach that the almost 100-year-old institute will now be considered a university.

“Being named a university confirms the essential role that Mount Royal plays within Campus Alberta for its students and our province,” Stelmach said.

“Mount Royal has served the needs of Calgary and area learners while providing Alberta with generations of professionals who have given back to our province’s communities, making them strong and vibrant.”

Mount Royal president Dave Marshall was all smiles during the announcement as he acknowledged the support of the government.

“(This) will enable Mount Royal to create a very special university. This announcement recognizes the quality educational experience we offer and validates our efforts to be the best at what we do.”

The school will continue to provide a variety of programs, including certificates, diplomas, applied degrees and baccalaureate degrees.

Calgary high school student Rachel Anderson said she is excited about the addition of a second university to the city.

“I think it’s great news for the city and it’s a good opportunity for students to have more options. I’m definitely thinking about going there now that its been designated as a university,” Anderson said.

Former Calgary Mount Royal student Chelsea Waite had to transfer to the University of Alberta this year to finish her physical education degree.

“I would have loved to have stayed at Mount Royal to finish ... I think it’s great news for the school and for the city,” Waite said. “I also think it will help attract and keep students at the school.”