Task force recommends ensuring all courses can be completed in French

All students who wish to complete any undergraduate program entirely in French may soon be able to do so if the University of Ottawa Senate decides to go with the recommendations of UOttawa’s Task Force on Programs and Services in French.


Released yesterday to the members of the University Senate, the task force’s final report offers direction for strengthening the standing of French at the university by 2012.


The report contains 31 recommendations, one of which is to ensure that all students who want to can complete undergraduate studies in any course in French.


Currently, 23 per cent of programs at UOttawa cannot be completed entirely in French, said Dr. Sylvie Lauzon, associate vice-president, academic and co-president of the Task Force on Programs and Services in French.


“We want all undergraduate non-linguistic programs at the university to be available in both languages,” said Lauzon. In addition to ensuring that all compulsory courses are available, this also means expanding the program to offer elective courses.

In the meantime, the university is the only one in Ontario that offers French-only programs in high-demand areas, including social work, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

The task force wants to reverse the trend of linguistic imbalance it has seen in the last decade, said Lauzon.

Although the number of Francophones has never been as high as it is currently, the proportion of Francophones has dropped as the number of Anglophone students has grown over the past few years.

The report also states the importance of enriching life on campus through language-inclusive cultural and physical activities and getting other universities with similar mandates on board in protecting Francophone culture.

The University Senate will review and discuss the recommendations this fall.

Lauzon said she is “very happy” with the results from the 15-month process.

“We’re very confident,” said Lauzon. “I think that our recommendations are reasonable and, at the same time, can make a difference.

“I think we have a great university. A bilingual university can just grow if both languages flourish on campus,” said Lauzon. “Everyone benefits from the co-living of languages.”

bilingual school

  • A bilingual institution, UOttawa offers programs and services in both official languages. In the 2006-07 academic year, one-third of the university’s approximately 35,000 students were Francophones.