The President

While the worst of COVID-19 appears to be behind us, recovery is still very much top of mind for Canada and many countries around the world.  We continue to deal with the effects of climate change. Rapid technological growth is disrupting the workforce in ways that contribute to significant labour market shortages and widening skills gaps, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Reskilling and upskilling are the new reality for even the most seasoned worker as generative AI becomes more widely adopted.  

This is where modern and progressive universities such as York come into play. From our inception in 1959,  to our motto, tentanda via, to our vision in our 2020-2025 University Academic Plan (UAP), York has been committed to enhancing the well-being of the communities we serve through our academic programs, teaching and learning, research and campus operations.  

We are a leader in lifelong learning and curriculum innovation, dedicated to meeting the current and future needs of our learners both locally and across the globe. One of the ways York has responded to this urgent demand for new skills is through micro-credentials – innovative programs delivered in a variety of platforms to ensure fast, flexible and relevant reskilling and upskilling.

York, in fact, offers the most Ontario Student Assistance Program-eligible micro-credentials of any institution with a total of 370 programs, ranging from Big Data Analytics and Production Accounting to Cancer Coaching and Chronic Disease. The unprecedented demand among our students and alumni has led York to increasing its micro-credential offerings by 43 per cent since 2020. 

Another example is the School of Continuing Studies – a forward-thinking school focused on the future of work, with tailored programs. In its unique cohort model, students can quickly gain in-demand skills needed for today’s competitive workforce. Earlier this year, we opened our new, beautiful, state-of-the-art School of Continuing Studies building – the first of its kind in Canada – built for the unique needs of continuing education students. 

The future of education in the 21st century will require the ability to adapt, be intellectually agile and learn in any context. Our new Markham Campus, slated to open in fall 2024, and our proposed new School of Medicine, will further meet the evolving needs of our society by recognizing the impact of technological innovation and AI while building on York’s unique excellence in delivering programs with an equity, diversity and inclusivity lens. As Canada’s third-largest university, York will continue to support our students, alumni and communities by providing the skills and tools needed for a lifetime of career success. 

Our impact is further enhanced by a rich array of research activities that include leveraging our campuses as living labs to apply and assess scientific discoveries for the benefit of our campuses and beyond. Learn more about York’s impact across all the UAP priorities this past year, in the 2023 President’s Annual Report. Visit

photography by SOFIE KIRK

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