(Calgary and Hong Kong, 29 June 2007) With a CAD 3 million gift from the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation, the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering will create an endowed Chair to lead the development and implementation of applied learning initiatives to nurture innovation among the next generation of engineers. The University of Calgary will match the donation bringing the total to CAD 6 million.
The University’s goal is to better cultivate research that leads to innovative educational programmes, the results of which will be disseminated to the broader international community through conference presentations and visits to other institutions, including those in the People’s Republic of China.
“The world is changing; the workplace is changing. For graduates to be leaders in this constantly changing milieu, they need to have extensive experience with how to innovate within the systems that make up the foundations of engineering,” says Dr Elizabeth Cannon, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering. “This Chair will help ensure that students of the Schulich School of Engineering have hands-on learning experiences that equip them to be innovators. These are the people who will tackle the global challenges facing us today.”
The Schulich School of Engineering is one of the most competitive schools in Canada for engineering students, located in an area with the highest per capita number of engineers in the country. Undergraduate enrollment has increased by 35 percent in the past five years to over 2,700 students, and graduate enrollment by 70 percent to about 1,000 students. In addition to recognizing top marks, the school rewards students who are active in projects that benefit the community.
“Engineering students, like all university students, require unique learning experiences that offer an educational experience beyond the traditional classroom,” says Dr. Harvey Weingarten, University of Calgary President and Vice Chancellor. “This chair will explore innovation in education, which will benefit engineering students at the University of Calgary, and ultimately a much broader audience when these students take their skills and knowledge into the workplace.”
Mr Li Ka-shing, Founder and Chairman of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, believes that the spirit of reason and innovation is key to any society’s continuous progress. Developing innovative programmes in education is especially important as its reach will make an impactful difference to young people who might lead the way and reshape our world’s destiny.