About us

About the Learning Exchange

The UBC Learning Exchange was founded in 1999 to build relationships between the university and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It’s a place to be more connected to the critical issues in the community. At the heart of all our activity is a belief in the importance of a “learning exchange” – the idea that learning is a two-way street. Through our programs, we have inspired others to learn, discover, contribute and get involved.

We share knowledge created in both the university and the community. We work with local community members as well as students, faculty and staff to share knowledge, create new partnerships, new connections and cultivate new understandings and experiences. These are results we could never have achieved on our own.

We offer residents an opportunity to lead social, cultural, and artistic activities. Each week hundreds of people – UBC students and faculty along with DTES residents and organizations – participate as learners, trainers, and facilitators.

We invite you to learn more about:

Our values and principles:

We welcome all individuals and groups in everything we do. We engage and empower members of the local community and the UBC community to exchange ideas and knowledge.

We develop productive relationships and partnerships that are mutually beneficial. We inspire innovation and change by bringing together people with different perspectives.

We recognize it takes courage to overcome the risks of learning. We celebrate and support every step, large or small, that leads to greater awareness, understanding, and action.

We honour all kinds of knowledge and expertise including lived experience. We foster lifelong learning through reciprocal and experiential opportunities.

We are flexible in creating an environment for people to make concrete, useful differences in their learning and lives.

We take a long-term approach to relationships and operations — building capacity for the future while meeting the needs of the present