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Blog

Occasional updates, comments, and reflections from President Feridun Hamdullahpur

Taking What We’ve Learned Forward into the Spring Term

students working remotely from home

I know I am not alone in saying this, but the last month has been a trying one. COVID-19 has challenged everyone in the University of Waterloo community, and around the world, to levels that have never been encountered before. What I have also seen is a community that has pushed forward every step of the way.

The final three weeks and exam period of this Winter Term have been transformed out of necessity for greater needs of public health and safety. The health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff and broader community will always remain our number one priority. At the same time, we have a dedication to keeping the quality of our academic experience strong and moving.

We stand against racism in all its forms

For the last few weeks we have mobilized our skills, time and resources to slow the spread of coronavirus. We've done this as each of us has also adjusted to new work and study environments at home or at a distance.

Waterloo remains committed to maintaining and fostering a thriving community

A Note from President Hamdullahpur on the University and COVID-19

After careful consideration, aided through guidance from all levels of government, Public Health and our peer institutions from across Canada, I announced that the University of Waterloo has suspended on-campus courses until March 23. All in-person course activity is cancelled until the end of term, including in-person final exams, due to the continuing challenges COVID-19 has created.

Entrepreneurship is in Waterloo's DNA: Economic Impact Series Part III

waterloo entrepreneurs

There are few experiences as exciting as watching a pitch competition at the University of Waterloo. The student-entrepreneurs are full of passion, focus and expertise that they are utilizing to create truly unique and groundbreaking ventures. It is quite inspiring, but it’s only the tip of the entrepreneurial iceberg at Waterloo.

The ventures that have come out of the hard work of thousands of Waterloo students and graduates continue to disrupt industries and make significant contributions to our local, regional and national economies. In the third and final part of my Economic Impact Series, I am going to explore the wide-ranging and ongoing contributions of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship programs and talented entrepreneurs.

Honouring the Ongoing Legacy of International Women's Day

international women's day at waterloo

Change happens all around us on a daily basis. I see change in the discoveries made here on campus. I see it in the young and talented minds who come here to learn and live every day. Today our community marks something that goes beyond those subtle, everyday changes, but recognizes a movement that lasts generations. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Waterloo Co-op Delivering Results: Economic Impact Series Part II

waterloo co-op student

When I am connecting with government officials, post-secondary administrators and industry leaders from around the world, I am most often asked about Waterloo’s co-op program.

I get questions about its benefits to the students, to the learning process, to business, to research, to the University and about how it impacts society. With more than 60 years of experience with co-operative education, it’s clear to me that our co-op does all of these.

Co-op is in our DNA. It has been part of our institution from its very founding and after six decades of evolution it is delivering for our students, our employer partners and for Canada.

University of Waterloo Economic Impact Series Part I: Driving Regional and National Prosperity

university of waterloo economic impact students

To be relevant and truly distinctive, universities around the world must have a unique role to play in society. We need to educate and train generations of talented citizens with a renewed purpose as we wrap it together with a dedication to enabling curiosity-driven discoveries from our exceptional researchers and faculty members. That’s why universities are vital to the economic health of nations.

That is exactly what we have been doing right here at the University of Waterloo from day one.

Reflections on Attending the 50th World Economic Forum

world economic forum in davos

I had the honour of once again joining more than 3,000 business and government officials at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland this past week. With it came Insights and observations on the state of the world economically, socially and politically; and connections with other universities, research institutions and industry partners.

Though I could write an entire book about the activities and discussions at the WEF, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on my recent time in Davos and the future state of post-secondary education, Canada and the University of Waterloo.

Canada-wide moment of silence on January 15

The University will be holding a memorial event tomorrow at noon at Federation Hall to honour and celebrate the lives of our Waterloo community members who died in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752.

During the memorial event, we will take part in a nationwide moment of silence, joining with Universities Canada and other Canadian academic institutions to pay tribute to those students, postdocs, faculty members, alumni and our broader community whose lives were cut short on January 8.

Welcome back to campus and a new decade of impact

Waterloo in Winter Term

Welcome back to every member of the University of Waterloo community. After a nice break full of celebration and rest, we are back for a new exciting year, a new term and a new decade for our institution and with it countless possibilities. And, we are ready for it!

The University of Waterloo has pushed against convention and tradition for more than 60 years and has carved a path of progress, discovery and creation few other institutions in the world can match. I know that it is easy to talk about progress and impact as so many other universities do, but we have data to back it up.

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