Vancouver Island University (formerly known as Malaspina University-College and before that as Malaspina College) is a Canadian public university serving in Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia. Established in 1969 as Malaspina College, it has grown into a university that plays an important role in the educational, cultural, and economic life of the region. The main campus is located in Nanaimo, and there are regional campuses in Duncan and Powell River, and a campus centre in Parksville. Vancouver Island University was founded in 1969 as Malaspina College, named after Captain Alexandro Malaspina, who explored Vancouver Island. Following a 1988 government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia, five community colleges in BC were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees, and these five institutions — Malaspina, Fraser Valley, Kwantlen, Cariboo and Okanagan — were renamed university colleges. Initially, they offered degrees through one of the three provincial universities. Malaspina College had regional campuses in Nanaimo, Duncan, and Powell River by 1990. In the 1990s several at Malaspina promoted the idea of the institution offering something distinct—interdisciplinary bachelors degrees in Liberal Studies—and in 1995 the institution was awarded the authority to offer degrees in its own right. In 1995, the province of British Columbia enacted legislation changing the institutions name to Malaspina University-College and allowing it to begin granting academic degrees and college diplomas. Malaspina University-Colleges Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on May 20, 1995.