Bilingual Services at the University of Ottawa

Active offer – a hallmark of service at the University of Ottawa 

The University of Ottawa prides itself on its tradition of offering an environment conducive to the growth and well-being of its community in Canada’s two official languages. And that well-being depends on being able to receive services in the official language of one’s choice. This is where active offer becomes so important. 

Active offer means offering a bilingual service that encourages people to feel comfortable expressing themselves in the official language of their choice.

Active offer rooted in our traditions and by-laws 

When the University of Ottawa was established in 1848, it adopted English and French as its official languages as a sign of inclusion and as a way of enabling both language communities to study, live and thrive side by side in their respective language.  

In 1974, the University’s first official policy on bilingualism confirmed the use of both languages in every sphere of activity at the University of Ottawa, from teaching and service delivery to administration.  

In 2016, the University was designated as a public service agency under Ontario’s French Language Services Act, which saw it renew its commitment to providing education programs and services in French to its students. 

In 2022, the University of Ottawa updated its policies on bilingualism, reaffirming its attachment to both official languages and its commitment to nurture the Francophonie. In the end, active offer of service must help promote genuine equality between our two official languages by providing a space where French can thrive.

Bilingual service delivery in practice

We provide bilingual service in an active manner to make it clear on first contact that people are welcome to use the official language of their choice. This is done through: 

  • Signage and posters in both official languages 
  • Bilingual greetings 
  • Continued provision of service in the person’s preferred language  

Active offer signage and posters at service points 

Do you work directly with members of the University community?  

Do you provide services to students, faculty or the public on campus?  

Download and print active offer signage and posters to put up at your service points. 

Active offer is everyone’s responsibility 

You may come across situations where an active offer of bilingual service is not provided. If that happens, you can report it to us by sending an email to [email protected]

We all need to do our part to maintain and enhance the active offer of bilingual services at the University of Ottawa so that our campus is a space where everyone can feel at home. 

Contact us


Tabaret Hall (map
550 Cumberland, Room L239 
Ottawa ON K1N 6N5 

Tel.: 613-562-5928 
Fax: 613-562-5103 
Email: [email protected]