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____ Wednesday December 16, 2015 ____

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Hands-on Learning

University of Waterloo recognized for leadership and talent development

Waterloo - The University of Waterloo's innovative model of education received recognition for its blend of hands-on learning, entrepreneurship, scholarship and professional training.

The Faculty of Engineering and Department of Co-operative Education & Career Action at the University of Waterloo were presented with the Creative Destruction Lab's Labour award today for their contribution to Canada’s economic development and leadership in developing talent in demand globally. Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is part of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

"Our co-operative education system provides the market with access to smart, professional young people during work terms, and when the students graduate, they are more ready to contribute to real-world success, either as valued employees or leaders of their own companies," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "The Waterloo model encourages scholarship and talent development, preparing students to be savvy, conscientious, entrepreneurial professionals."

In Waterloo's co-op program, participating students rotate between academic terms and paid, professional work terms. They graduate with up to two years of paid work experience. Every undergraduate student in Waterloo Engineering is automatically part of Waterloo's co-op program, which is the largest co-operative education program in the world.

“The integration of co-op within our undergraduate engineering program has become a driver of national economic prosperity, so we celebrate this shared recognition,” said Wayne Parker, acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Waterloo. “Waterloo Engineering is highly connected to the workforce because of our longstanding partnerships with industry, founded on co-operative education. Every year Waterloo engineering students gain deep understanding of the needs of industry and bring that awareness back to the classroom and on into their careers.”

Earlier this year, Quacquarelli Symonds named Waterloo 25th in the world and first among ranked institutions in Canada for employability of its graduates. Waterloo was third in the world in the partnerships with employers category.

In 2014-15, Waterloo co-op students participated in more than 17,600 work terms. Waterloo works with more than 6,300 organizations in more than 60 countries.

”The deeply-rooted partnership between Co-op and the Faculty of Engineering has existed since the University's founding,” said Rocco Fondacaro, acting executive director of Co-operative Education & Career Action at Waterloo. “Academic excellence and a strong focus on understanding core engineering principles are hallmarks of Waterloo Engineering. Our students are equipped to make solid contributions to employers on every work term and after graduation.”

John Tory, mayor of Toronto, presented the award at CDL's conference, "Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence," taking place in Toronto yesterday.

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