Our history

The association has its roots in a meeting, held in 1911, of university presidents  who gathered in Montreal to discuss questions they wanted to raise at a meeting of the Congress of Empire Universities, held the following year in London. The year 2011 marked our 100th anniversary.

Recognizing the need for a national organization of universities to exchange information and discuss common problems, the presidents met again in 1915, with 26 representatives from 18 universities. By 1917, the group had become formalized, named the National Conference of Canadian Universities and described as “the voice and conscience of Canada’s institutions of higher learning.” The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada was incorporated by the Canadian Parliament in 1965. On April 22, 2015, the association changed its name to Universities Canada.

Through our various organizational structures and names, the association has continued to provide leadership for higher education, in Canada and abroad.