The University of Victoria is a major research university located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The University of Victoria, founded in 1963, is the oldest university in British Columbia and began as Victoria College in 1903, as an affiliated branch of McGill University. The University of Victoria is a non-denominational institution which is mostly centred around the Greater Victoria suburbs of Saanich and Oak Bay. The university has around 22,000 students, including many post-graduate and doctoral candidates.
The University of Victoria is one of the most international universities in Canada, attracting students from around the world. Since the university's founding, many future political leaders, Olympic medalists, and heads of government in Canada have passed through the university's halls, including Rona Ambrose, Fin Donnelly, and George Abbott. The University of Victoria has partnered with high-ranking institutions around the world, including Sciences Po, University of London, University of Washington, Hong Kong University, Utrecht University, and the National University of Singapore. The University of Victoria has also produced several Rhodes Scholars and Gates Scholars in recent years, while its alumni and faculty have worked on Nobel Prize winning research teams.
Academically, the University of Victoria is noted for its programs in the Faculty of Law, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, Economics, Political Science, Earth and Ocean Sciences, and Engineering Departments. It is the nation's lead institution in the VENUS and NEPTUNE deep-water seafloor observatory projects. UVic also participates in several multi-institutional research consortia, such as the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Studies, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, TRIUMF, the Canadian Consortium of Oceans Research Universities, WestGrid, and Compute Canada. The University of Victoria has served as an incubator for many major tech companies and start-ups. It also boasts one of the largest financial endowments in Canada, and receives a significant portion of federal research revenues each year.
The Victoria Vikes (more commonly known as the UVic Vikes or simply the Vikes) represent the university in a number of competitive sports, including rowing, sailing, rugby, soccer, and basketball. The Vikes have especially long and eminent ties to competitive rowing having competed for several international titles. Sailing is also a popular sport for students at the University of Victoria and the UVic Sailing Club maintains facilities and boats on campus at the nearby Cadboro Bay.