University of Toronto

Office of the
President

Striking Evolution at UTM and UTSC

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) continue on their remarkable trajectories.

The chart below shows the relative sizes of UTM and UTSC compared to the largest 80 universities in Canada. (click for a larger version):

Canada's Largest Universities

The enrolment numbers are the total head-counts (no adjustment for FTE) of undergrad full-time, undergrad part-time, graduate full-time and graduate part-time. The data were acquired from the AUCC website. Only the largest 80 universities that are stand-alone institutions plus UTM, UTSC, and the U of T St. George campus were included.

These numbers reflect the ongoing evolution of the University’s east and west campuses and speak indirectly to their transformation into de facto mid-sized comprehensive universities, with specialized disciplinary strengths in lovely urban-green settings. (The President’s Message in the Spring 2012 issue of the U of T Magazine says more about the recent success and growth at UTM and UTSC.)

It is perhaps useful to reflect briefly on the history of our east and west campuses.

Erindale and Scarborough were established in the 1960s as exclusively undergraduate colleges with an understanding that both would evolve towards greater autonomy over time. From the start, they have been pedagogical and student life pioneers. (In 1967, Time Magazine profiled then Scarborough College’s advanced campus as “A Satellite Built for TV”!)

Twenty years from their genesis, as President George Connell reported in Renewal 1987, the two colleges had begun to develop graduate studies in different disciplines along with distinctive undergraduate programming. Praising the unique strength of Toronto’s tri-campus model, President Connell wrote:

By drawing on the University and its departments, the two suburban campuses have strengths they would not have achieved as independent institutions. At the same time, the University as a whole is stronger because of their faculty and students, their innovations and their potential. (p.21)

Today, the word ‘suburban’ clearly no longer fits. Mississauga is the sixth largest municipality in Canada and the region of Scarborough is an integral part of the City of Toronto itself. Nevertheless, President Connell’s comment remains both an interesting signpost and an apt description of the University of Toronto’s unique three campus model.

Further discussion of this theme can be found in my Synthesis report from the Towards 2030 planning initiative (see, for example, Chapter 2) and in the Provost’s recent and excellent Towards 2030: The View from 2012.