About University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo (known as Waterloo), located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, was founded in 1957. It now has 25,000 students. In the past 50 years, Waterloo has established itself as one of Canada’s leading universities.
Studies at the university are divided into six faculties: Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics, and Science.
The faculties are also home to six professional schools: accountancy, architecture, computer science, optometry, pharmacy and planning.
There is a wide range of research ongoing at Waterloo, which has 34 research centres and institutes.
University of Waterloo has a variety of sports teams and more than 90 student clubs and groups for students.
Famous for co-operative education
The University of Waterloo is famous for being one of the first universities to introduce co-operative education. Co-operative education (co-op) is a program that uses both classroom study and temporary jobs to provide students with practical experience. Students accepted into the co-op program alternate four-month terms in the classroom with four-month terms at temporary paid jobs. Waterloo now has the largest co-op program in the world.
Connected to high-tech industry
The university also has an intellectual property policy that encourages spin-off companies when university researchers develop commercial applications for their inventions. Through co-op and these spin-off companies, the university has close ties with the high-tech industry.
Waterloo has a strong connection with Research In Motion (RIM), creator of the BlackBerry. CEO Mike Lazaridis was a student at Waterloo before he started RIM, and was chancellor of the university. RIM hires hundreds of students from Waterloo and many of its employees are Waterloo alumni.
In 1957, President Gerald Hagey gathered teachers of engineering and science, and the first classes began in 1957. Within three years, UW created a Faculty of Arts, and arts students joined the science and engineering students on the new campus.
In 1967, the College of Optometry of Ontario moved to Waterloo and became part of the university. That same year, Waterloo created a new Faculty of Mathematics, which is now the largest in the world.
A physical education program, created in the 1960s, later grew into the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The university also founded Canada’s first Faculty of Environmental Studies in 1969.
Expansion since 2000
In this millennium, the University of Waterloo is developing a Research and Technology Park. The park will be home to many high-tech industries in the area and will enhance the partnership between the university and the private sector.
In 2004, the School of Architecture moved to downtown Cambridge – a city next door to Kitchener – to improve the school's facilities and strengthen community ties.
Also, in 2004, the university founded the Institute for Quantum Computing. Construction has already begun on a $100-million building on the university’s main campus to house the institute as well as the new nanotechnology engineering program.
The university and the City of Kitchener began constructing a health sciences campus in downtown Kitchener in 2007, including the new School of Pharmacy.
The university’s main campus, divided into “north campus” and “south campus,” is located along University Avenue in Waterloo. Ring Road circles the south campus and creates a sense of community. Because there is a lake and a conservation area on the north campus, Waterloo is home to a variety of vegetation and wildlife. You will see many different varieties of birds and animals, including Canada Geese, ducks, squirrels and hawks. The campus also has a wide variety of trees and plants. All of this wildlife combines to create a beautiful campus landscape
One of the most popular places on campus for students is the Student Life Centre, which has food, lounge, study, shopping and activity spaces. The information desk, located in the Student Life Centre's Great Hall, has been operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since this building opened in 1968.
The University of Waterloo attracts some of the smartest students from across Canada. It is widely recognized as one of Canada's best universities.
Due to Waterloo's co-operative education program, the university has established strong ties with many major corporations. During his visit to Waterloo in 2005, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that,
Most years, we hire more students out of Waterloo than any university in the world, typically 50 or even more.
Bill Gates returned in February 2008:
It's not unusual to have the best solution to a tough problem come from one of the youngest people working to solve it... I saw this kind of innovative thinking when I visited the University of Waterloo this past week and spent time with students there who are focused on pushing the envelope in science, engineering, and other fields.
Canada’s most respected news magazines is Maclean’s, similar to Time magazine in the United States. Waterloo prides itself on its high performance in Maclean's Canadian university rankings. In the magazine’s reputation survey, Waterloo has placed first as best overall of all universities in Canada, 13 out of 15 times.