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Alfred campus could expand

If La Cite Collegiale and Sudbury's College Boreale get their way, the Alfred agricultural campus will be expanding when they take over in 2015.

La Cite president Lise Bourgeois told CFRA they want to introduce some new courses at the campus.

"We already have 90 programs, so we already identified four fields that, some of the programs could be adapted to support agrofood and agricultural industries," she said.

"A lot of research can be done and a lot of complimentary programs in business management," she said. "Business management for a farm, business management for an agricultural industry, whatever it is, you know? We could have that in Alfred also, so we can transform some of our programs for the needs of the agricultural community of Alfred."

That, she said would hopefully mean higher enrolment.

"If we do expand the programs or add more possibility for the students in different fields... there could be a higher enrolment," she said.

The University of Guelph announced Wednesday it would close its satellite campuses in Alfred and Kemptville to address a large deficit.

The Alfred campus is the only one in Ontario to offer Francophone agricultural courses.

Bourgeois said the colleges have been working together on the last-minute bid to save the Alfred campus for around two weeks. She said they were concerned about what closing the campus would mean for Francophone education.

It costs around $2.3-million to run the Alfred campus per year and Bourgeois said while they haven't figured out how the costs will be split, they will find a way to keep the campus viable.

So far, no one has stepped forward to save the Kemptville campus.

However, the province said it is open to community-based proposals to remain programming there.

The provincial government plans to reach out to community leaders, businesses and institutions to create a path forward for the Kemptville campus.

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