York University rises to top 35 globally in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

THE 2024 General_YFile Story

Voir la version française

Dear colleagues,

York University has risen an impressive five spots to be among the top 35 institutions in the world for advancing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to this year’s Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, published today.

This is a testament to the growing recognition for York’s global leadership on the SDG Challenge and has been made possible by our community of changemakers – faculty, staff, students, course directors, alumni and our many partners. It is your commitment to our shared values of sustainability, inclusivity and equity that has enabled us to achieve our highest ranking yet.

On behalf of the University, thank you for your individual contributions and collective efforts in interdisciplinary research, teaching, and a myriad of campus initiatives and community projects, which have led to this success.

With an additional 300+ universities joining the rankings this year, York has continued to hold its leading position among more than 2,100+ universities worldwide for the sixth consecutive year. York has a particularly strong global standing in the following categories: 

  • SDG 1 (No Poverty) – #2 in the world and #1 in Canada;
  • SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) – 33rd in the world and #1 in Canada; and
  • SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) – tied for 13th in the world.

This is an achievement we all share and one that the entire York community can take great pride in. We are delighted to see the community united by our common goals: to realize the University Academic Plan 2020-25 and to answer the call of the SDG Challenge.

When we work together to create positive change there is no limit on York’s ability to address the most pressing global issues of our time. Read the News@York story for more details.


Rhonda Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor

Lisa Philipps
Provost & Vice-President Academic

Amir Asif
Vice-President Research & Innovation

Those who wish to share the news in social media posts or email signatures can find instructions on how to do so in the THE Impact Rankings Toolkit.

L’Université York se hisse parmi les 35 premiers rangs du palmarès Times Higher Education Impact

THE 2024 General_YFile Story

Chers collègues, chères collègues,

L’Université York a fait un bond impressionnant de cinq places pour figurer parmi les 35 meilleurs établissements au monde pour la promotion des 17 objectifs de développement durable (ODD) des Nations Unies, selon le palmarès Times Higher Education Impact de cette année, publié aujourd’hui.

Ces résultats témoignent de la reconnaissance croissante du leadership mondial de York dans le domaine des ODD. Ils ont été rendus possibles grâce aux efforts de tous nos artisans du changement : membres du corps professoral et enseignant, du personnel, de la population étudiante et de la communauté des diplômés ainsi que nos nombreux partenaires. C’est votre engagement en faveur de nos valeurs communes de durabilité, d’inclusion et d’équité qui nous a permis d’obtenir notre meilleur classement à ce jour.

Au nom de l’Université, nous vous remercions pour vos contributions individuelles et vos efforts collectifs dans la recherche interdisciplinaire, l’enseignement et une myriade d’initiatives sur le campus et de projets communautaires, qui ont conduit à ce succès.

Avec plus de 300 universités supplémentaires ayant rejoint le classement cette année, York a conservé sa position de leader parmi plus de 2 100 universités dans le monde pour la sixième année consécutive. York est particulièrement bien placée au niveau mondial dans les catégories suivantes : 

  • ODD 1 (Pas de pauvreté) – n° 2 dans le monde et n° 1 au Canada
  • ODD 10 (Réduction des inégalités) – no 33 dans le monde et no 1 au Canada
  • ODD 11 (Villes et communautés durables) – no 13 dans le monde, ex æquo

Toute la communauté de York peut s’enorgueillir de ce succès. Nous nous réjouissons de voir la communauté unie pour réaliser ensemble le Plan académique de l’Université 2020-2025 et relever le défi des ODD.

En travaillant de concert pour susciter des changements positifs, nous permettons à York de s’attaquer aux problèmes mondiaux les plus pressants de notre époque. Lisez l’article de News@York pour plus de détails.

Sincères salutations,

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Lisa Philipps
Rectrice et vice-présidente aux affaires académiques

Amir Asif
Vice-président de la recherche et de l’innovation

Ceux qui souhaitent partager l’actualité dans des publications sur les réseaux sociaux ou dans des signatures électroniques peuvent trouver des instructions sur la façon de le faire dans la boîte à outils THE Impact Rankings toolkit.

Y-EMERGE partnership to combat climate change by advancing mathematical modelling

climate crisis dry desert BANNER

By Elaine Smith

The York Emergency Mitigation, Engagement, Response & Governance Institute (Y-EMERGE) has established a partnership with the Research & Innovation Centre at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS-RIC) in Rwanda that will bring AIMS PhD students to York University to pursue their research in mathematical modelling as a tool for addressing climate change.

The project, called Human Capacity Building in Climate Change and Health in Africa, is being jointly funded by York International (YI) and Global Affairs Canada’s Canadian International Development Scholarships 2030 program, marking the first external grant to Y-EMERGE. It is also the first time York International has matched funds on this scale in support of an international research endeavour.

“York International is delighted that our researchers were able to leverage C$25,000 in matching funds to secure a significantly larger external grant for an impactful international research collaboration,” said Vinitha Gengatharan, assistant vice-president of global engagement at YI. “The money will be used to top up scholarships for up to six female PhD students coming to York, as well as to provide emergency bursaries for any PhD student travelling to York for this program.” 

As part of the project, 10 PhD students from the AIMS Research & Innovation Centre will each spend a year at York between 2025 and 2028 to advance their work with mathematical modelling and climate change. Y-EMERGE will be hosting the program, with York International assisting in helping the students to feel at home. Participating students will have the opportunity to develop their research by working with experts in their areas of interest. 

Pictured, from left to right: Vinitha Gengatharan, assistant vice-president, global engagement at Y-EMERGE; faculty member Jianhong Wu; Sam Yala, president of AIMS Rwanda; York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton; Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation; Y-EMERGE faculty member Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima 
Pictured, from left to right: Vinitha Gengatharan, assistant vice-president of global engagement at Y-EMERGE; York University Professor Jianhong Wu; Sam Yala, president of AIMS Rwanda; York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton; Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation at York U; and York U Professor Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima. 

AIMS is no stranger to York U; the institutions have previously collaborated on infectious disease modelling for influenza and COVID-19.

For Professor Jude Kong, founder and director of the University’s Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence & Data Innovation Consortium (ACADIC) and a native of Cameroon, this collaboration is a passion project. He believes a focus on climate change and health is imperative, as the African continent is already feeling the effects of climate change.

“We’ll take the modelling experience present at York’s Y-EMERGE and CDM [the Centre for Disease Modelling], as well as ACADIC and AIMS, to ensure we build the capacity to model climate change in Africa,” said Kong. “Climate change is coming and the situation is worsening in Africa. It will affect health in a way that has never happened before, and we’ll be able to build responsible models with an understanding of the local dynamics. … We’ll be using local expertise, so the results will be locally relevant, decolonized and intersectional.”

Professor Jianhong Wu, director of Y-EMERGE, is equally committed to the project.

“We consider this to not just be the beginning of an intensive collaboration with the AIMS Research & Innovation Centre in particular, but AIMS in general,” he said.

Professor Wilfred Ndifon, president of the AIMS Research & Innovation Centre, added, “For us at the institutional level, we have achieved our successes thanks to partnerships like the one we have with CDM.”

To help facilitate this long-term partnership, Y-EMERGE is forming a college of mentors to work with the AIMS students and establishing an advisory board to guide the growing Africa-Canada collaboration in mathematical modelling.

“We want the students to not only get excellent training but to grow their careers and begin to build up their own networks,” Wu said. “The students who come to York to train will be ambassadors for collaboration between the African continent and Canada in mathematical sciences.”

Kong is excited by the opportunity to build capacity on his home continent through a “train-the-trainers” model.

“When these students return home, they will be sent to other AIMS centres to make data actionable,” he said. “We need homegrown talent, rather than people from the Global North, to teach others [in Africa]. York is one of the many institutions that have reached out to help AIMS change the paradigm, and it is committing funding because they don’t view this as a one-off.”

Student receives 2024 Bergeron Medal

Colored confetti flying on blue background

Each year, the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) program at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering awards the Bergeron Medal to top graduating students, recognizing their outstanding entrepreneurial achievements throughout their time at the school. This year, Reza Mirhadi was honoured with the award.

A top mechanical engineering student who consistently placed in the top 10 per cent of students on the Dean’s Honour Roll list and was named a Lassonde Scholar, Mirhadi received the Bergeron Medal in recognition of his exceptional entrepreneurial achievements. During his time at Lassonde, he completed the BEST Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship and won the BEST Technology Impact Award – which honours inventiveness in addressing societal issues – for a modular smart home project. He also excelled at a range of startup pitch competitions, including the BEST Startup Experience and the York Engineering Competition.

In addition to his entrepreneurial success, Mirhadi proved himself in leadership roles, contributing as a mentor and moderator in BEST Experiential Education activities – including UNHack – and representing Lassonde in the 2022-2023 Impact Report. He served, too, as the academic advocacy director for the Lassonde Engineering Society.

Beyond the walls of York University, Mirhadi’s professional achievements include a research and development role at Hatch – a company that supplies engineering and construction consultation to the mining, metallurgical, energy and infrastructure sectors ­– where he led presentations for over 350 people. He also worked as a project manager and mechanical designer at AFA Systems, a packaging automation systems company, where he completed four projects. Mirhadi’s own entrepreneurial venture, Simple Swim School, has received support from the Vaughan Summer Company Program.

For more information, visit the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology program website.

York U study examines immigrant families’ experiences with autism stigma, caregiver stress

Woman and child hands holding together colorful puzzle heart on light blue background

A study by York University Faculty of Health Professor Farah Ahmad and her students Fariha Shafi and Amirtha Karunakaran, titled “Autism, Stigma, and South Asian Immigrant Families in Canada,” was recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

While existing evidence suggests early autism diagnosis and support results in positive outcomes for children and youth on the spectrum and their families, Ahmad believed the same might not be true for children of racialized families, who are often diagnosed at later ages and are more likely to be misdiagnosed and experience barriers to service access. She also identified a lack of research examining the experiences of parents in Canada from specific immigrant groups – many from racialized communities – who are caring for their children on the spectrum.

With funding from York University’s Faculty of Health, through a Collaborative & Community-based Research Seed Grant, the York U researchers set out to address this knowledge gap by looking at South Asian Canadian immigrant parents with children on the autism spectrum and examining their experiences with available care programs and supports, as well as their perceptions of social stigma.

“Disability should not hinder people’s opportunities to reach their full potential,” said Ahmad, “so it’s a matter of human rights to bring forth hardship experienced by families caring for their children or adult family members on the autism spectrum. This is particularly relevant for racialized immigrant families, given the dearth of scholarly knowledge in Canada on their experiences.”

The team worked with community collaborators, including the SAAAC Autism Centre and Health Access Thorncliffe Park, to find suitable study participants. Nine South Asian parents living in the Greater Toronto Area were selected and interviewed individually.

The study’s findings confirmed barriers to an autism diagnosis and to service access. Additionally, parent participants reported that the stigma surrounding autism kept them from receiving a timely diagnosis, access to support services and guidance on health-promoting behaviours. The findings also revealed considerable caregiver stress and psychological distress.

“I believe in a proactive strategy,” said Ahmad, “where we as researchers examine the ‘ground reality’ of caregivers’ challenges and ways to cope, with the aim to enhance equity in practice and policymaking for improving structural supports for them, including efforts to reduce societal negative attitudes towards disabilities.”

Ahmad and her team expect the evidence revealed by their study to have wide-ranging impacts, including helping to inform equitable policy, programming, and practices that better support the needs of children on the spectrum and their immigrant families.

York U professor helps transform engineering education in Uganda


In an effort to enhance undergraduate engineering research in Uganda, faculty members from York University and the University of British Columbia have joined forces on an education-enhancing project with Academics Without Borders (AWB), a non-profit organization aiming to improve the higher education landscape in developing countries.

The Strengthening Engineering Undergraduate Research (SER-Undergraduate) project, initiated by faculty at the Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST) in Uganda, aims to provide international support to MUST undergraduate students, empowering them to engage in high-quality research endeavours.

As part of the collaboration, York U Professor Arash Habibi Lashkari – an AWB volunteer who is also the founder and director of York University’s Behaviour-Centric Cybersecurity Center – embarked on a week-long visit to MUST, where he interacted with students and faculty members to assess the current state of the institution’s undergraduate research program and identify areas for improvement.

York University Professor Arash Habibi Lashkari (front, centre) with students from the Mbarara University of Science & Technology in Uganda.

“I am honoured to be part of this initiative to empower undergraduate students in Uganda to pursue research excellence,” says Lashkari. “By sharing our expertise and resources, we can make a meaningful impact on these students’ academic and professional trajectory.”

During his visit to Uganda, Lashkari engaged in insightful discussions with students, faculty members, the international office and the administration department, guiding and enhancing research methodologies and academic standards. The visit not only fostered knowledge exchange but also served as a testament to the importance of volunteerism and international collaboration in advancing education and research on a global scale.

“Membership in the AWB Network offers opportunities for academics and professionals to share their expertise and knowledge as volunteers in capacity-building projects in partnership with institutions in low- and middle-income countries,” says Professor Nancy Gallini, executive director of Academics Without Borders. “Engaging in this work gives faculty and staff a global perspective that enriches education and research on their campuses.”

For MUST students, the SER-Undergraduate project allows for access to resources, mentorship and opportunities for hands-on research experience that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. By leveraging the expertise and resources of Canadian faculty members serving as volunteers, Ugandan students can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their future academic and professional endeavours.

As the SER-Undergraduate project continues to unfold, the goal of transforming engineering education and empowering a new generation of research-driven scholars in Uganda remains.

For more information, visit the Academics Without Borders website.

Four PhD students awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Gold trophy, stars and confetti on a yellow background

Four PhD students from York University are recipients of this year’s prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. The award, presented by the Government of Canada, supports first-rate doctoral students who undertake graduate studies in the fields of social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering, and health. The aim of the program is to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting those who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies.

Candidates are evaluated based on three equally weighted selection criteria: academic excellence, research potential and leadership. All four York University recipients will be awarded $50,000 annually for up to three years to support their research projects.

Through their research projects, this year’s recipients have proposed innovative solutions to challenging problems, which can lead to positive change locally, globally and beyond.

Grace Bischof, physics and astronomy

Grace Bischof
Grace Bischof

Bischof’s research project, titled “Characterizing Inter-Crater Dust Dynamics in Gale Crater, Mars in Preparation of Human Exploration,” looks at the importance of understanding the dust cycle on Mars as crucial for the future of human-led missions, where dust storms pose a distinct threat to humans on the Martian surface. The opacity of dust in the Martian atmosphere has been studied for several years using images taken in Gale crater by the Curiosity rover; however, these images are severely limited in time and space. Bischof’s work uses a newly designed Curiosity rover observation that captures a larger area of the crater and can be employed throughout a Martian day.

“Capturing these data throughout dust storms will give additional insight into the dust lifting and deposition occurring, shining light onto these elusive storms,” says Bischof. “This work will help us to understand how dust transports in the atmosphere both spatially and temporally, allowing us to better predict atmospheric phenomena and ensure human-led missions are accomplished safely.”

Roberta da Silva Medina, socio-legal studies

Roberta da Silva Medina
Roberta da Silva Medina

Da Silva Medina’s research project, titled “Vertical Surveillance: Urban Police Use of Drone Technology in Brazil and Canada,” delves into police surveillance practices in urban settings, focusing on Greater São Paulo in Brazil and the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. Despite the differences in police cultures and institutional landscapes, both regions have integrated military-originated drone technology for urban surveillance. In Brazil, where police forces are militarized, and in Canada, where they are not, this technology has found its place in law enforcement practices.

“I aim to explore the rationale and processes behind this adoption, drawing upon surveillance studies, Brazilian critical theory and critical race theory,” says da Silva Medina. “My research methods involve collecting data, participatory observation police-surveillance industry events, and engaging with police departments and civil liberties advocates in both regions through interviews.”

Joshua Lamers, law

Joshua Lamers
Joshua Lamers

Lamers (he/they) is a Black, queer, gender non-conforming, disabled, mad, child welfare survivor and family policing abolitionist. Lamers is a poet, dancer, writer, and educator in the areas of law and social work, centring the intersections of Blackness, disability and madness, child welfare survivorship, queerness and transness.

Their doctoral autoethnographic research, titled “The Golden Ticket? Black Child Welfare Survivors, Racial Displacement Through Adoption & the End of Family Policing Systems,” focuses on the question of whether the experiences and outcomes of the legal adoption of Black children into white families reflect the paramount purpose of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, with respect to promoting child’s the best interests, protection and well-being.

“It is my hope that with this research we can collectively trouble the notion that the legal adoption of Black children into white families is necessarily a form of exit from the violences of state child protection systems and a ‘golden-ticket’ toward protection and the nurturance of well-being,” says Lamers.

Romeo Joe Quintero, geography

Romeo Joe Quintero
Romeo Joe Quintero

Quintero’s doctoral project, titled “Building Liveable Futures in Camps: Everyday Placemaking Practices of Internally Displaced Women in the Southern Philippines,” will examine the experiences of those living in resettlement and transitory sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the areas of the southern Philippines affected by armed conflicts. He will travel to the southern Philippines in the summer of this year to conduct 12 months of ethnographic research to understand how IDPs construct their livelihoods, homes and sense of belonging through collective action.

“My work will draw critical connections with broader ideas of carceral and abolition geographies to offer capacious understanding of resettlement sites as more than just spaces of confinement and control but also places of rebuilding and reimagining,” says Quintero.

To learn more about the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

Ceremony celebrates Pride Month with York University community

York Pride 2024 Ceremony

A ceremony to celebrate Pride Month on June 4 at York University’s Vari Hall Rotunda was attended by staff, faculty, students and other University community members who took part in the day’s events organized by the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Events.

Beginning with opening remarks, the event featured a flag unfurling ceremony and booths to share information about 2SLGBTQIA+ resources and services available at York U. Attendees were also invited to enjoy free treats provided by the Office of the Vice-Provost Students and snap a selfie with mascot Yeo.

See a photo gallery of the event below. Visit York University’s Pride Month website to learn more.

Pride Event 2024-48

Actioning the University’s three-year budget plan approved by the Board of Governors

Aerial view of York Keele campus summer

Voir la version française

At a town hall on Monday, June 10, the York University president and senior leaders will be walking through the recently approved three-year budget plan. The board-approved plan is the result of prudent forecasting, sector analysis and community input. It outlines institutional priorities that recognize the significant budget challenges facing York University, and most other institutions across Ontario, and highlights opportunities for addressing them.  

Over the past several years, the University has worked diligently to advance the priorities in the Senate-approved University Academic Plan 2020-2025: Building a Better Future. By taking advantage of emerging opportunities in a rapidly changing higher education landscape, the University has continued to invest in its growth as a leading institution in post-secondary education, laying a strong foundation for its financial stability. Careful scenario planning also facilitated the University’s ability to mitigate much of the consequences throughout the pandemic, including the closing of borders around the world and the rapid shift to online education.

Nonetheless, the longer-term impact of COVID-19 in combination with other global shifts in population growth and student mobility, and the more recent cap on international students imposed by the federal government, have significantly disrupted the higher education sector. This has resulted in lower enrolment at the undergraduate and graduate levels in 2023-24, which will impact subsequent years. Additionally, in Ontario, the government’s tuition freeze extension through to at least 2026-27 has further reduced revenue in the sector, compelling the University to reconcile its expenditures with declining student numbers and revenue.

The combined impact of these factors, exacerbated by the recent labour disruption and Bill 124 reopener settlements, has created a critical financial situation for the University that is only partially addressed through the carry forward accumulated over the past several years. The University must close an operating gap of no less than $30 million in 2024-25, $80 million next year and $90 million the following year. The cumulative shortfall, if unaddressed, threatens to put the University in a negative financial position by 2026-27.

The University remains focused on providing a high-quality, research-intensive learning environment committed to strengthening the well-being of the communities it serves. The collective efforts of faculty, staff, instructors and students, together with investment from the government, donors and partners, continue to support the realization of this vision. Factors contributing directly to the University’s positive momentum include enhanced scholarships and the development of new services and programs to meet the needs of students and employers; the opportunity to recruit additional students to the Markham Campus; the positive impact the proposed medical school is already having on York’s reputation; and research successes like the Connected Minds initiative, the recent NSERC CREATE grant to study geomagnetic storms and a grant from the province of Ontario to study sustainable research technologies.

This progress is reflected in global and national rankings. For example, the University climbed more than 100 spots in the recent QS Sustainability Rankings, placing 118th out of more than 1,400 institutions globally, and was recognized as a greenest and top diversity employer in Canada

The road ahead

Nevertheless, swift, decisive action is needed for the University to align expenditures with the reduction in enrolment revenue. To do so with minimum impact on the University and its community, continued investment in future growth is imperative, including program enhancement and development, pedagogical innovation such as online and flexible delivery, strategic enrolment management (SEM), research, innovation and commercialization, while also streamlining administrative overhead and diversifying revenue sources.

Along with embedding additional contingencies into budgets that reflect the increasing uncertainty in higher education, recent cost-saving measures include reducing discretionary operating expenses such as travel and hospitality; deferring renovations; and consolidating academic units. The University remains steadfast in its commitment to control costs and prioritize strategic initiatives that will help maintain its positive trajectory and continue to strengthen its impact and reputation among global universities.

The University has identified 17 further actions to guide these efforts. Next steps include consolidating working groups tasked with leading these initiatives and establishing targets and benchmarks to measure progress. Along with actively engaging the Board of Governors, Senate and union partners, the president is inviting the entire University community to participate in a town hall on Monday, June 10. This is one of a number of identified opportunities to discuss the budget and action plan.

The collaborative effort of the whole of the University community will be crucial in defining and implementing the best possible recovery plan, ensuring York University continues to thrive for future generations.

Mise en œuvre du plan budgétaire triennal de l’Université approuvé par le conseil d’administration

Aerial view of York Keele campus summer

Lors de la conversation communautaire du lundi 10 juin, la présidente et la haute direction présenteront le plan budgétaire triennal qui vient d’être approuvé par le conseil d’administration. Ce plan est le fruit de prévisions prudentes, d’analyses sectorielles et de contributions de la communauté. Il décrit les priorités institutionnelles prenant en compte les défis budgétaires importants auxquels York et la plupart des autres établissements ontariens sont confrontés et présente des moyens d’y remédier. 

Au cours des dernières années, York s’est efforcée de faire avancer les priorités du Plan académique de l’Université 2020-2025 : Bâtir un avenir meilleur, qui a été approuvé par le Sénat. En tirant parti de possibilités émergentes dans un contexte d’enseignement supérieur en rapide évolution, l’Université n’a cessé d’investir dans sa croissance en tant qu’établissement de premier plan dans l’enseignement postsecondaire et a établi des fondements solides pour sa stabilité financière. Une planification minutieuse lui a également permis de mitiger de nombreuses difficultés tout au long de la pandémie, notamment la fermeture des frontières dans le monde entier et le passage rapide à l’enseignement en ligne.

Néanmoins, l’impact à long terme de la COVID-19, combiné à d’autres changements mondiaux en matière de croissance démographique et de mobilité étudiante, et le plafond récent imposé par le gouvernement fédéral aux étudiants internationaux, ont sérieusement perturbé le secteur de l’enseignement supérieur, entraînant une baisse des inscriptions aux premier et deuxième cycles en 2023-2024, ce qui engendrera des répercussions dans les années à venir. Par ailleurs, en Ontario, la prolongation par le gouvernement du gel des droits de scolarité jusqu’à au moins 2026-2027 a réduit davantage les recettes du secteur, obligeant l’Université à concilier ses dépenses avec une réduction du nombre d’étudiants et une baisse des recettes.

L’impact combiné de ces facteurs, exacerbé par l’interruption de travail récente et la réouverture des négociations salariales liées au projet de loi 124, a engendré pour l’Université une situation financière critique, qui n’est que partiellement résolue par le report cumulé des dernières années. Elle doit combler un déficit de fonctionnement non négligeable de 30 M$ en 2024-2025, 80 M$ en 2025-2026 et 90 M$ en 2026-2027. Si ce déficit cumulé n’est pas comblé, l’Université risque de se trouver dans une situation financière négative d’ici 2026-2027.

L’Université York reste déterminée à offrir un environnement d’apprentissage de haute qualité et axé sur la recherche tout en renforçant le bien-être des communautés qu’elle dessert. Les efforts collectifs des corps professoral et enseignant, du personnel et de la population étudiante, ainsi que les investissements du gouvernement, des donateurs et des partenaires continuent à appuyer la réalisation de cette vision. De nombreux facteurs contribuent directement à cet élan positif comme l’augmentation des bourses et la mise en place de nouveaux services et programmes pour répondre aux besoins des étudiants et des employeurs, la possibilité de recruter plus d’étudiants sur le campus Markham, l’incidence positive que le projet d’école de médecine a déjà sur la réputation de l’Université et les succès de la recherche comme l’initiative Connected Minds, la récente subvention CREATE du CRSNG pour étudier les orages géomagnétiques et une subvention de la province de l’Ontario pour étudier les technologies de recherche durables.

Ces progrès se reflètent dans les palmarès mondiaux et nationaux. L’Université a notamment gagné plus de 100 places dans le récent classement QS sur le développement durable, se classant 118e sur plus de 1 400 établissements du monde entier, et York a été reconnue comme un employeur écologique et favorable à la diversité au Canada. 

Le chemin qui reste à parcourir

Des mesures rapides et décisives doivent néanmoins être prises pour que York aligne ses dépenses sur la réduction des recettes provenant des inscriptions. Pour y parvenir avec un impact minimal sur l’Université et sa communauté, il est impératif de continuer à investir dans la croissance future, notamment dans l’amélioration et le développement des programmes, l’innovation pédagogique, y compris l’enseignement en ligne et flexible, la gestion stratégique des inscriptions (SEM), la recherche, l’innovation et la commercialisation, tout en rationalisant les frais généraux administratifs et en diversifiant les sources de revenus.

Outre l’intégration de provisions supplémentaires dans les budgets pour tenir compte de l’incertitude croissante dans l’enseignement supérieur, les mesures d’économie récentes comprennent la réduction des dépenses de fonctionnement discrétionnaires comme les dépenses de voyage et de représentation, le report des rénovations et la consolidation des unités d’enseignement. L’Université maintient son engagement à contrôler les coûts et à donner la priorité aux initiatives stratégiques qui l’aideront à maintenir sa trajectoire positive et à renforcer son incidence et sa réputation parmi les universités mondiales.

York a retenu 17 actions supplémentaires pour encadrer ces efforts. Les prochaines étapes consistent à consolider les groupes de travail chargés de diriger ces initiatives et à établir des objectifs et des critères de référence pour mesurer les progrès accomplis. En plus d’impliquer activement les membres du conseil d’administration et du Sénat et nos partenaires syndicaux, la présidente invite l’ensemble de la communauté universitaire à participer à la conversation communautaire du lundi 10 juin. Ce sera l’une des occasions de discuter du budget et du plan d’action.

La collaboration de l’ensemble de la communauté universitaire sera essentielle pour définir et mettre en œuvre le meilleur plan de redressement possible afin que l’Université York continue à prospérer pour les générations futures.