University of Toronto

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

The Academic Plan: All Together Now

The Academic Plan is a blueprint for Engineering excellence, both academic and administrative, within the context of U of T’s Towards 2030. It represents an exciting time of renewal and collaboration.

Faculty, staff, students and alumni worked together over a period of two years to craft the Plan, which was approved by Faculty Council on October 6, 2011.

The plan guides us through the next five years, as we work together to realize its vision. It demonstrates, in each chapter, how we will measure and track our success in each facet of the plan.

Together, we will pursue excellence in engineering education, innovation, knowledge creation and transfer.

Here is how we will get there:
Chapter 1: Preamble
Chapter 2: Positioning
Chapter 3: Culture of Excellence
Chapter 4: Educating Future Engineers
Chapter 5: Student Experience
Chapter 6: Research Foci
Chapter 7: Outreach, Collaboration and Influence
Chapter 8: Resource Allocation




Chapter 1: Preamble

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The Preamble provides context for the Academic Plan and gives a comprehensive overview of key Faculty initiatives that led up to the creation of the plan.




Chapter 2: Positioning

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Through thorough consultation beginning in 2007, the Faculty began a process to sharpen and clarify our positioning – one that uniquely places us among our peers.

The Positioning chapter establishes our five-year goals to strengthen our messaging and enhance our communications abilities. By developing a strong, integrated, strategic communications plan in support of the Academic Plan, we can successfully communicate our excellence and global leadership in engineering education and research. We will clearly differentiate and articulate our unique messages, promoting our internationally renowned undergraduate and graduate programs and highlighting our educational and research missions. The Faculty also aims to present a cohesive identity, strengthening our visibility across Canada and around the world.




Chapter 3: Culture of Excellence

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We all contribute to a Culture of Excellence at U of T Engineering.

In order to strengthen the foundations of our culture of excellence, we will continue to attract top, diverse talent worldwide, enhance our already leading-edge educational practices and nurture and value our alumni, as they pursue lifelong learning. We will also develop and share best practices, as well as enhance the skills of our administrative and technical staff, who support the Faculty to pursue these aims.

This chapter outlines our priorities to increase gender, academic and international diversity, strengthen industrial partnerships and foster innovation, which enriches our educational and research pursuits. We will measure our progress towards our goals through annual reporting, building upon the opportunities arising from cyclical reviews.




Chapter 4: Educating Future Engineers

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One of our central goals is developing our students into lifelong learners and global engineering leaders.

Educating Future Engineers means enhancing our highly regarded undergraduate and graduate programs through curriculum reviews at both the Faculty and departmental levels. The Graduate Attributes Committee, in collaboration with departmental curriculum committees, will map our accreditation requirements with the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process cyclical program reviews, measuring program quality and assessing graduating students’ competencies.

While continuing to provide foundational engineering education, we will also improve our educational programs. Across the Faculty, we plan to enrich students’ learning experiences by integrating design, communication, entrepreneurship, leadership, global engineering and professional engineering competencies into our curricula.

We will also help students link their technical knowledge and engineering skills by providing opportunities for them to apply their learning in engineering settings. Our graduates will take on leading roles as academic instructors, researchers or engineering practitioners in industry. To reach this goal, we must continue to attract the world’s top applicants and increase gender and international diversity within our student body. We must improve infrastructure, review our IT and computing facilities, support effective teaching and review grading practices.

We also aim to enrich the MEng course offerings and instruction, work towards reducing dwell times for our research-stream graduate students and balance the undergraduate-to-graduate enrolment.




Chapter 5: Student Experience

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Student Experience and Educating Future Engineers are naturally linked – how we teach and engage our undergraduate and graduate students affects their experience.

We will go beyond a focus on academics and provide opportunities for students to partcipate in extra- and co-curricular activities, and to contribute to the U of T community. U of T Engineering will also enrich educational experiences by bringing in industry practitioners to share their perspectives and knowledge with undergraduate and MEng students. Our priorities include increasing undergraduate research opportunities, strengthening our summer internship and Professional Experience Year (PEY) programs, and better facilitating international exchanges.




Chapter 6: Research Foci

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Our researchers are leaders in creating new knowledge and technologies.

A significant number of our endeavours touch upon at least one of our four broad, cross-Faculty Research Foci: Bioengineering, Sustainability, Information and Communication Technology, and Enabling Technologies.

In addition, departments and institutes are setting research priorities that contribute towards and support Engineering’s research excellence. We will leverage our strengths to develop multidisciplinary research programs, enable our researchers to make significant contributions to the world, advance engineering knowledge and innovation, as well as promote the Faculty’s profile.

We will also increase government research funding and seek alternative financial support mechanisms through industrial partnerships. Our world-renowned researchers will support our new and emerging faculty, sharing their expertise with the future generations of Engineering innovators. Our plans include ways to broaden our reach, engaging with policy makers, granting agencies and all levels of government.




Chapter 7: Outreach, Collaboration and Influence

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In the next five years, we will broaden outreach, encourage collaboration and enhance Engineering’s influence and better understand the breadth of each.

Our activities will help us attract academically strong, diverse students and internationally renowned scholars. We will continue to be an innovative partner to U of T Faculties, peer engineering institutions, as well as industrial partners and engineering organizations. This way, we can enhance our contributions to the technological, economic and social prosperity of the region and of Canada.

And, as a key participant in the upcoming U of T Campaign, we will expand our culture of stewardship and reinforce ties with alumni, friends and donors, whose contributions enable us to pursue Engineering excellence.



Chapter 8: Resource Allocation

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Resource Allocation outlines how we balance, maintain and strengthen our resources.

U of T Engineering allocates three main resources – academic time, infrastructure and finances – to enable research and educational activities. Engineering’s resource goals include faculty and staff hiring, infrastructure renewal, philanthropic fundraising, as well as balancing academic workload. Our Faculty continues to focus on the significant need to improve our physical infrastructure. To this end, we will enhance research facilities; create design, student club and flexible lab spaces; and develop reliable and effective teaching, computing and study spaces for undergraduate and graduate students.

Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering | University of Toronto
University of Toronto Engineering
35 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario • M5S 1A4 • Canada
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