The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - NEWS - JOE FRIESEN

Univer­sité Laval was given its Royal Char­ter by Queen Vic­to­ria on this day in 1852. But Laval, the old­est post­sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tion in Canada, traces its roots much fur­ther back. It was founded in 1663 as the Que­bec Sem­i­nary by François de Mont­morency-Laval, the first Bishop of Que­bec. It was the pre-em­i­nent ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion of New France, where priests were trained be­fore set­ting out for the colony’s ru­ral parishes.

By 1878 it had opened a sec­ond cam­pus in Mon- treal, which be­came the Univer­sity of Mon­treal in 1920. With the ex­pan­sion of ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion af­ter the Sec­ond World War, Laval moved to a new and larger mod­ernist cam­pus at Sainte-Foy, just out­side Que­bec City. As the Quiet Rev­o­lu­tion trans­formed Que­bec so­ci­ety, Laval be­came a sec­u­lar, pub­licly funded school.

To­day, the univer­sity boasts nearly 50,000 stu­dents and is one of Canada’s lead­ing re­search in­sti­tu­tions, cru­cial to the for­ma­tion of Que­bec’s in­tel­lec­tual and pro­fes­sional classes.


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