||This article analyses the impact of a new university, the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), on a developing region. The educational, population, social, cultural, and economic effects of the coming of UNBC are assessed. The article compares the expected impacts with the actual, or likely, impacts. In doing so it makes comparisons with the impact of other universities previously built in other parts of the circumpolar north. The article concludes by arguing that impact of UNBC will not be as great as it might have been largely because it is not seen as part of a general regional development plan, but also because of a starting size that is too small in terms of programme range, a government focus on access issues, and intra-regional rivalry. .