Simon Fraser University has been innovating the delivery of higher education since it opened its doors to students at the top of Burnaby Mountain in 1965. It has been rewarded for that trail-blazing leadership by being ranked as the top comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine.
A Focus on Engagement
In more recent years, it has made a focus of actively engaging its students and the community. The institution’s tagline and mandate is “Engaging the World”. Home to 25,000 undergraduate students and over 5,000 graduate students, SFU is also home to students from around the globe. Nearly 20% of the student population is comprised of international students. SFU is certainly living up to its mission of engaging the world with such numbers.
Supporting Students, Research and Local Communities
Closer to home, SFU is engaging local community members through its many outreach programs. Engaging the community has taken several forms. SFU expanded its facilities to create a downtown campus in 1989, which has enabled the business community and international public speakers to engage with SFU’s students, faculty, programs and public forums. SFU expanded to a third campus in 2002 with an award-winning campus in Surrey.
Get to Know SFU Before Graduation
For high school students, it is key to learn as much as possible about university life and available programs before graduation. Every opportunity to visit universities should be taken advantage of. Luckily for Burnaby students, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with SFU! For example, SFU invites kindergarten to grade 12 students to participate in numerous Science in Action programs at the Trottier Studio for Innovative Science Education on the Burnaby Campus.
In a Changing Economy, Students Need to Adapt Their Educational Goals
Noting that the job market is constantly shifting, SFU has been at the forefront of change in delivering education. How do you know if you are getting an education that is going to be relevant in a changing economy, and competing amongst a global workforce? A university degree is an investment of a great deal of time and money. It is important for students to know they are getting value for their money. Unlike an “ivory tower” university experience, SFU is engaging students to interact and work in their chosen field while gaining a degree.
A Strong Co-op Program Across All Faculties
Students across SFU’s eight faculties have opportunities to participate in co-op programs in Canada and abroad. In fact, over 8,000 students a year are enrolled in SFU’s co-op programs. Co-ops help aid the transition from “backpack to briefcase”, and is just one of SFU’s many support programs for students making this important life change. While some students may dismiss the co-op opportunity in order to graduate faster, industry leaders stress that valuable work experience makes graduates more marketable to employers. And 94% of student graduates of SFU’s co-op program state that the program gave them a professional advantage over non-co-op students. As a result, the co-op program should be strongly considered in a post-secondary learning plan.