Parlez-vous français? Introducing the U of A’s Online French Application for Admission

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Did you know that the Francophone heritage in Alberta is older than the province itself, dating back more than 200 years? These origins are still thriving today, and the University of Alberta wants to highlight and support this vibrant part of Canada’s culture through its application process; as of July 1, 2017, prospective undergraduate students have the ability to apply to the University of Alberta in French through the online Application for Admission (AFA).

While prospective students have previously been able to apply in French using a paper application, this online version makes the application process faster and more efficient for those who choose to apply in French. Applicants can apply to any program at the U of A using the French AFA.

The French AFA was developed in support of the Institutional Strategic Plan, For the Public Good. It promotes the university’s goal of positioning the U of A as an institution of choice for francophone and bilingual students, and will also help to build a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional undergraduate and graduate students by attracting top French speaking candidates.

The project was an initiative of the Office of the Registrar, in consultation with Campus Saint-Jean.

“We are delighted to see this project come to fruition” said Lisa Collins, Vice-Provost and University Registrar. “The French AFA shows that the U of A is committed to Canada’s linguistic duality, and promotes us as an institution of choice for French speaking students. It will help attract top francophone and bilingual students from across Canada and around the world. We are excited to see the impact on our university community as it becomes increasingly diverse and vibrant.”

“After several months of collaboration, this is truly great news!” said Denis Fontaine, Assistant Dean, Academic Administration for Campus Saint-Jean. “It only makes sense that a French online application be available for potential students wishing to pursue their post-secondary studies in French at Campus Saint-Jean.”

Fontaine sees the project as a practical advancement for prospective students that will help the university’s reputation as a destination for francophone and bilingual students. “This new online application will certainly ease the procedures for many of our students as some of them do not master the English language. Moreover, this will add credibility to Campus Saint-Jean as a French language institution.”

While developing the French AFA, the Office of the Registrar’s Information Systems and Business Development (ISBD) team had to address how to add this new functionality to the existing application. Chris Brunelle, Associate Director, ISBD explains: “The application wasn’t originally built to support multiple languages. This presented some unique challenges but also opportunities to address some underlying issues and help position the application to enable easier development in the long term.” Brunelle is satisfied with the development of the French AFA and how his team rallied to achieve their goal. “We set out to create a fully translated application giving the user the option to switch between French and English to apply in their preferred language. I believe we’ve met this objective and improved the student experience.”

Alison Bulloch — Communications Strategy Lead, Office of the Registrar

Alison is a Communications Strategy Lead with the Office of the Registrar. A proud Uof A alumnus, she enjoys the opportunity to connect with current students through marketing and communications efforts.