Cambrian College President Sylvia Barnard – An Introduction

Sylvia Barnard - President Cambrian CollegeSylvia Barnard is President of Cambrian College which is located in Sudbury, Canada. The college has an enrolment of over 4,400 full-time students and approximately 8,000 part-time personal, professional and human resources development courses and seminars.

Cambrian College offers Mining, Geology, and Civil Engineering diploma programs as well as apprenticeship and skilled trades training, graduating over 1,000 students annually for entry into the mining industry. Cambrian College has also been providing research for the mining industry for about 40 years. There is a very close, cohesive relationship between this institution and the local mining sector.

The College provides over 50 customized training courses and programs to upgrade and maintain currency for skilled trades workers, leadership and management employees, and computer skills for staff at both Vale Inco and Xstrata Nickel as well as to the mining industry in Canada in general.

Since her appointment in 2002, Barnard has continued to focus on skills training; the establishment of partnerships with business, industry, universities, and government; and the development of strategies to ensure the viability of the College’s part-time studies and contract training. In the last four years, Cambrian’s mining programs have seen a 200 per cent increase.

Under her leadership, Cambrian is developing new programs and enhancing learning facilities and technology applications to learning in order to meet the needs of a changing demographic profile of students, including adult and Aboriginal learners and those wishing to study part-time while fully employed.

The college blends classroom theory with technical onsite skills development. The institute is fortunate enough to be able to use a former operating mine in the Sudbury Basin community of Onaping as a classroom.

The school training allows graduates to work in specialized areas like field exploration, mine ventilation, air conditioning, rock mechanics and mine safety.

Providing mining education and training around the world, the College has recently worked with the governments of Canada and Chile to establish the Centro de Formacion Tecnica in Atacama Chile. This is a technical training center attached to the University of Atacama and linked to industry. The Atacama region of Chile is among the most significant producers of copper in the world.

Cambrian has provided mining expertise in education and training to government and industry partners in Ecuador, Tanzania, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Chile. The college is currently working on a project in Egypt and is negotiating several similar projects in South Africa.

One of Barnard’s recent initiatives, in consortium with Collège Boréal, Canadore College, Confederation College, Sault College and Laurentian University, the Federated School of Mines was established. This educational partnership will facilitate student access to education in the mining and minerals industry.

It will also enable postsecondary institutions across Northern Ontario to respond to the labour force and other development needs of this industry. Education and training in mining and associated fields will be available in more locations to a larger number of industry employees and students.

For further updates on new initiatives at Cambrian visit Barnard’s blog at: