Our strategic vision

Throughout 2022, the University of Waterloo set out to answer: What do we aspire to be known for by our 100th anniversary in 2057?

Thousands in the Waterloo community participated in consultations and discussed the University’s future. Drawing on the unconventional spirit of our founding, our community put forward ideas to reinvent the culture of our institution as we build a better future.

Who we are

We are a leading global research-intensive university, renowned for entrepreneurship and innovation, providing co-op and work-integrated learning at scale with impact.

What we envision

A community of curious, collaborative, innovative and entrepreneurial problem-solvers and leaders who seek to understand and identify equitable and sustainable solutions for the future of humanity and our planet.

We must continue to be bold and unconventional as we help shape a better future for humanity and the planet.

A person walking in front of the Math and Computer building with a blue overlay

To realize this vision, we will follow these guiding principles:

Rediscover unconventional

Universities tend to look the same. Rather than chase convention, Waterloo must resist isomorphism. We must once again be unconventional, transforming education that responds to and shapes our future. We are more valuable to the world when we add uniquely Waterloo strengths. We can do this when we align our work to shape Global Futures, based on our evolving strengths in co-op and work-integrated learning, innovation and entrepreneurship, fundamental and applied research that is connected, and strong relationships to our surrounding communities.

Lead globally, act locally

As we continue to address global challenges and make impacts around the world, we will also continue to contribute to our local surroundings through collaborative relationships. As we go out into the world with innovative solutions to challenges, we should also ensure we have addressed them in our communities. Change starts at home. As global leaders, we live our values and apply our knowledge on and off our campuses.

Coordinate and collaborate

To unlock the full potential of our university, we will create a culture of co-ordination and collaboration both within and beyond our institution. Models that served us well in early days of rapid growth have often resulted in siloed activities. Today, we operate in a complex environment that requires teams to work together across many units internally and with external partners globally and locally. We need to find ways to co-ordinate, collaborate and co-create to build an empowered organizational culture with an emphasis on accountability, nimbleness and impact. This cultural shift will also mean instilling collaboration as a mindset and skill in our students and valuing collaborative connections with community and global partners.

Continue to the President's message →