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Ryerson University is launching a new strategic vision that will guide us through the year 2030.
This comes at a time when departments across the university are concluding, or are in the final stages of completing, their strategic plans, including: The Academic Plan, Strategic Research Plan, Ryerson 2030 (fundraising plan), our Internationalization Strategy, and a renewed Master Plan that will guide the development of our campus over the next decade.
In an increasingly polarized world, Ryerson is committed to helping realize Toronto’s full potential as one of the most attractive, livable and humane cities in the world. Ryerson is helping to build a safe place for differences and diversity, where people from around the world are welcome.
What will the next 10 years bring for Ryerson?
There are core tenets of Ryerson that will never change. We will continue to be bold, we will continue to question the status quo, and we will continue to be inextricably linked with the city of Toronto. We will remain at the heart of this great city we call home.
A Ryerson education means striving to improve the planet one block, one neighbourhood, one community, one city at a time. It means committing to sustainability and accessibility. It means creating positive change across Toronto’s social, economic, health and cultural sectors. It means taking a comprehensive approach to urban challenges to help shape policy and improve lives.
Ryerson will continue to operate as a living lab — to see the city as our classroom — so that our students, staff, faculty and researchers can continue finding solutions to challenges that face not only Toronto but communities around the world.
What do these opportunities look like?
Ryerson students are providing a wonderful example with the Ryerson Urban Farm.
In Toronto, like other cities around the world, many people lack access to nutritious and affordable food. Our students are showing that at least part of the answer is overhead, with rooftop agriculture. A few years ago, students with an interest in food security were offered the opportunity to turn the green roof of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre into an urban farm. Ryerson’s Urban Farm is now an enormous success, growing 4,500 kilograms of produce annually.
On a different scale, our new law school is deliberately disruptive, created to bring diversity and inclusion to law school enrolments and to make legal services accessible and affordable for everyone, from underrepresented groups to small business.
Our law school curriculum is novel, with a focus on technology and entrepreneurial skills. And because the learning is experiential, including co-op placements, there is no requirement for articling, so students can graduate in three years instead of four.
I also see Ryerson’s future linked with our work as a leading partner in the national Future Skills Centre. New developments in technology are transforming industries and changing the way Canadians work. Healthy cities are powered by robust and diverse workforces. We need to future-proof employees by helping them develop the skills required to succeed in the new economy.
Urban farming, future-proof employees and a law school for ordinary people. This is what we mean when we say that a Ryerson education means striving to improve the planet one block, one neighbourhood, one community at a time.
As we move towards 2030, we will continue:
- improving the quality of life for individuals and families;
- ensuring economic growth is shared across all levels of society;
- creating safe, creative and vibrant communities; and
- establishing Toronto as an example for the world.
I encourage you to participate in the community town hall consultations taking place this month as we shape Ryerson’s future together based on a livable and human city in keeping with our university’s values.
As our university considers its Strategic Vision and where we want to be in 2030 and beyond, top of mind should be how we can continue to be bold, how we can continue to position ourselves as a problem solver, and how we ensure that Ryerson University continues to be a model for others.