MERIC S. GERTLER

PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

" INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE " “U of T’s remarkable diversity provides both a springboard to social mobility and a superb environment for education, research and innovation."

- MERIC S. GERTLER, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

The strength of Toronto’s higher education, research and innovation enterprise is remarkable. More than 400,000 students are enrolled in the region’s 18 universities and colleges. Roughly 100,000 of these are international students. The Toronto Region has one of the most highly educated populations in the OECD.

Moreover, the region is home to institutions of exceptional quality. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Toronto as the eighth-best public university in the world, and second amongst public universities in North America, behind only UC Berkeley. U of T’s affiliated academic hospitals also rank among the world’s best. The Hospital for Sick Children was ranked first among the world’s paediatric hospitals, and Toronto General Hospital/ University Health Network was the world’s fourth-ranked general hospital, according to Newsweek.

The Human Biology Lab Bootcamp helps undergraduate students build confidence and career skills.

This excellence spans every discipline and profession, and this intense and rich ecosystem produces extraordinary results. 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin at U of T and the 60th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells by researchers in U of T’s affiliated hospitals. More recently, our researchers and students have made path-breaking contributions to bio-innovation and achieving sustainability.

Their work has created headlines at the intersection of information technologies, human rights and global security. And they have pioneered the development and application of neural networks and deep learning models of artificial intelligence, together with researchers at the Vector Institute. The Schwartz Reisman Innovation Campus, across the street from MaRS Discovery District, will soon become the focal point for U of T’s entrepreneurship programming, providing much-needed space for scaling homegrown startups. It is no surprise that Toronto is now one of North America’s foremost centres for startup activity.

CEIE Visualization Lab at Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

In all of these efforts, the Toronto Region offers a unique example of inclusive excellence. U of T demonstrates this well: it is a world-class, research-intensive institution with a public mission, where more than half of the student body comes from families of modest means. Indeed, U of T’s remarkable diversity — ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic, religious and socio-economic — provides both a springboard to social mobility and a superb environment for education, research and innovation. U of T embodies a commitment to access and excellence at scale. Taken together, Toronto’s universities, colleges, hospitals and entrepreneurship hubs represent a force multiplier for talented people in the world’s most diverse region.

Education, research, and innovation are the foundations of the future. To see what that future looks like, look to Toronto.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

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