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Strategic plan

The University of Waterloo renewed our vision and blueprint for excellence with our strategic plan, A Distinguished Past, a Distinctive Future. This five-year plan began in 2013 and recognizes the need for a different kind of university education — one where learning is enhanced by experience, research has the power to transform, and entrepreneurial spirit thrives.

To develop our plan more than 3,400 stakeholders including students, faculty, staff and alumni, shared their thoughts on where the University of Waterloo stood in global terms, and the challenges and opportunities that existed for the institution.

The end result was a bold strategic plan, supporting a single, crystal-clear ambition: over the next five years, the University of Waterloo will be recognized as one of the world’s top innovation universities.

The plan builds on the traditions of excellence established by our founders, with a clear view of where energy and resources must be focused in order to achieve our full potential.

Our distinguishing strengths

Between 2013-18, and inspired by our culture of innovation, Waterloo will:

Our foundational strengths

Excellence in these areas of differentiation is only possible when supported by our foundational areas of strength:

Progress towards these goals is measured and regularly reported on, within an accountability framework developed by campus leaders.

Read more about the University of Waterloo Strategic Plan, A Distinguished Past, a Distinctive Future, and follow our progress.

Strategic Plan - download PDF

Download the University of Waterloo’s Strategic Plan, A Distinguished Past, a Distinctive Future