The “UBC Learning Exchange” represents a different approach—one that actively tries to create the place and space for two-way learning between the university and community. These stories capture a some of these exchanges.


UBC Students Turn Cups into Art as Binners’ Turn Cups into change

UBC students turned discarded coffee cups into a representation of Vancouver’s skyline to draw attention to a record-breaking recycling event in the Downtown Eastside.

What does Oncle Höonki have to do with learning English?

More than you might think. It’s learning by 'stealth' and social connection for immigrants, refugees and seniors in the Downtown Eastside.

New Infographics Summarizing DTES Research Available

Produced out of an innovative collaboration between UBC students and researchers, these are designed to make complex information easier to access.

Navigating Uncertainties in Community-Based Research

A community-based (CBR) approach can transform research and researcher. Learn more about it via Katherine Cheng's journey as our CBR Coordinator.

EVENT: Migrating Through Uncertainty

In this talk, Professor Lu Wang will share what she learned through community-based research about the coping strategies of older Chinese immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications for service delivery and practice. 

CLIMATE CAFÉ: The Many Meanings of ‘Rewilding’

How can urban rewilding help address climate change in the Downtown Eastside and beyond? Join us for a lively and informative discussion.

Preserving Woodward’s Squat Oral Histories, and More

Learn how the Making Research Accessible initiative is working with community organizations to ensure important materials like these are easy to find.

Student Profile: Connecting with Community, Note by Note

Apolline De Schaetzen talks about how working at the UBC Learning Exchange deepened her respect for the Downtown Eastside reinforced her career plans.

EVENT: Build Your Own Air Filter

Join us at this free workshop where you’ll get the materials and instructions to build an air filter that you can take home, and learn emergency measures to remove contaminants from your indoor air.

EVENT: Learn ChatGPT and/or Canva 

Canva is a free online tool that makes it easy to assemble posters, cards, art, and more. ChatGPT is 'artificial intelligence' that can write stories and make art following simple instructions. Sound exciting? A little bit scary? Join us to learn more.

Report Highlights Collaborations That Make Research More Accessible

Foundational report provides a glimpse into a variety projects within the Making Research Accessible initiative, including Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal usage details.

External Review calls UBC Learning Exchange ‘Extraordinary,’ ‘Unique’

Reviewers wrote that the “Learning Exchange embodies the principle and practice of reciprocity, the cornerstone of ethical and constructive university-community engagement.”

WATCH: ‘Hearts Beat: the Documentary’

Cultural sharing can help build a better path forward. And it can be a lot of fun. See for yourself in this new documentary by two UBC students.

Dr. Michelle Stack Appointed Academic Director

Dr. Stack is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies. Her research focuses on educational equity, knowledge translation and community-engaged research.

‘When I share my story, it releases the love in my heart’

Hector Hill - Gy'ax, long-time DTES resident and friend of the Learning Exchange, graduated at 68 with a UBC master’s degree in Education.

The Subtle Art of the Academic Director

Dr. Angela Towle united UBC's academic mission and Downtown Eastside goals with clear-eyed strategy and a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude. A look back as her term ends.

Student Profile: From Learning Exchange Worker to Partner

Annie Montague explains how developing nature-based activities at the UBC Learning Exchange combined academics, career and community.

Student Profile: Pioneering Online Programming in a Pandemic

Kisun Kim explains how adapting to COVID-19 at the Learning Exchange shifted her academic path and understanding of the Downtown Eastside.

The Librarian Is In (the DTES)

What is a UBC academic librarian doing in the Downtown Eastside? What is he doing on Twitter? How is this connected to open access? We sat down with Nick Ubels to find out.

Photo Gallery: Snapshots of Resilience

How do you move forward after prison? That’s the question at the heart of a community-based research project that had been meeting at the Learning Exchange before the COVID-19 restrictions. The project recently released a powerful photography and video exhibit that points the way forward.

Student Profile: Connecting with Chinese Seniors Helped Shift Her Academic Focus

Yanice Guo explains how her work in the English Conversation Program also helped her feel more connected in Vancouver.

Student Profile: Research to Make Research More Accessible

Alina McKay describes how her Learning Exchange experience informed her academic work and contributed to the MRAi.

More Than an App

For the last four years, Fabio Lima had one goal—to become a Canadian citizen. Dianne J. Campell had another—to learn more about personal technology. Learn how the Linkvan app became a vehicle for both.

In conversation: community-based research with Heather Holroyd

Thinking about a research project related to the Downtown Eastside? You might talk to Dr. Heather Holroyd, community-based research coordinator at the Learning Exchange.

UBC Learning Exchange Marks 20 years in the Downtown Eastside

On the occasion of its anniversary and partial re-opening, learn how this unique, dynamic hub quietly works to be a trusted part of the community and an important academic unit at the university.

New portal makes research related to DTES easier to access

It starts with public links to academic articles, but goes much further. Find out how the Downtown Research Access Portal team works to make research related to the DTES more accessible.