We acknowledge that the UBC Vancouver campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).

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Back to School 2023: Welcome to the new academic year

Sep 05, 2023 |

To SPPH students:


Welcome to your first day and before I get started I wanted to recognize the land which we are fortunate enough to get to work, study and live on. Decolonization, equity and inclusion are integral to everything we do at SPPH.

As a school situated on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam First Nation, it is our responsibility to understand and enhance Indigenous cultural awareness at all levels. We are committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action, including work that supports the implementation of the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan and the UBC Faculty of Medicine Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action.

Providing a safe environment for all our learners, staff and faculty is our priority, and we are proud to offer career-building opportunities to promote the advancement of individuals from historically marginalized and racialized communities in leadership positions. These are the fundamental pillars of effective population and public health for the optimal well-being of our society.

With that said, welcome to the School of Population and Public Health! With a full range of academic programming paired with world-class research that bridges multiple disciplines, we are known as one of the best places in Canada for public and population health experts to train, learn and grow.

There has never been a greater need for schools of education that provide training opportunities in public and global health, in a rich and unique environment with a variety of groups and disciplines. We are thrilled to welcome you back to another exciting school year filled with learning, growth, and endless possibilities.

Whether your focus is on professional practice or research and academia, our degree programs have produced distinguished population and public health leaders in our communities and worldwide. From infectious disease to climate change, there has never been a greater need for skilled public health professionals. You will all be instrumental in ensuring our work and community environments are safe and healthy places for all through the implementation of equitable and evidence-based best practices.

This year, we aim to create an environment where curiosity is nurtured, ideas are celebrated, and challenges are embraced. Our dedicated faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare a curriculum that not only imparts knowledge but also encourages critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

Remember, each one of you is a unique individual with talents waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s in the classroom, or in the lab, we encourage you to explore and pursue your passions wholeheartedly.

As we navigate the inevitable challenges of the upcoming year, let’s also celebrate our successes, both big and small. Let’s support each other, lift each other up, and create a community that values kindness, respect, and inclusivity.

Once again, welcome back! Let’s embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and make this a truly exceptional year.


Dr. Aslam Anis, Director of the School of Population and Public Health