The unconventional university of the future2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Around the Region showcases the work of community partners. For January, we highlight how the University of Waterloo is preparing talent for a complex future.
As an institution of higher learning, a key function of the University of Waterloo is to develop talent for a complex future. We want our students and alumni to think about the long term and be active and engaged citizens in our communities. We want to expose our students to our entrepreneurial culture so they can apply this mindset with future employers, including those in this region.
We are committed to working with our community and partners across the country to ensure that we are all better prepared and more resilient for an uncertain future. Leveraging our region’s rich history in manufacturing, combined with expertise in advanced manufacturing and robotics, we can produce here the critical supplies we need, and not rely solely on unpredictable supply chains. We can also work together on community health challenges and apply Waterloo strengths in quantum, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to develop new companies and solutions to help improve the health of our citizens and our economy.
We can also harness the vitality of this community and strength of our partnerships to address the climate crisis. The University will continue to search for innovative solutions to achieve our targets for carbon neutrality and capitalize on climate research across multiple disciplines to ensure sustainable futures for all humanity.
The pandemic has exposed and heightened our attention to the systemic ways our society oppresses racialized people and other marginalized groups. The University is committed to working with our community partners in confronting the history of colonialism that has and continues to challenge so many people today. We must advance our efforts to combat racism and implement recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation commission.
The University of Waterloo will continue to contribute to the economic recovery and the creation of a more just society, that ensures that all members of our community benefit equitably from the wealth generated in our community.
Waterloo: the University of the future
Our urgent and collective responses to the pandemic demonstrate our capacity to take meaningful action on major challenges. We have a real opportunity to build upon our shared history to address local and global challenges in ways we haven’t before.
Frustrated by the pace of change in Canada in the 1950s, the University’s founders Gerald Hagey and Ira Needles took their experience in industry and went against centuries of university tradition by establishing an innovative institution that integrated work experience with academic excellence.
As we mark the University’s 65th anniversary this year, we look forward to building on our legacy as the unconventional university of the future. With a local community like ours, we are well on our way.