Among the many lessons we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic were two that resonated particularly strongly with the students, faculty, librarians and staff who came to our May 2021 reflection forums. First, when UTM’s international community comes together on our beautiful campus, we enable connections that cannot be found anywhere else. Second, our location and expertise support flourishing and growth in this place, in Mississauga and the surrounding regions. The pandemic was a global crisis that we helped face locally, for example when we agreed to host Peel region’s first mass vaccine clinic, relieving some of the burdens on the public health and hospital system, and administering more than 335,000 vaccine doses when it mattered most for our community.
UTM will apply the same lessons over the longer term. Working alongside local partners, including alumni and donors, immigrant communities and Indigenous partners, and leveraging the strengths of U of T’s tricampus community, UTM has outstanding capacity for regional leadership—and a duty to run a public institution for the public good. We celebrate our place within U of T’s tri-campus system and our strong connections to downtown Toronto and to Scarborough, connections that amplify our achievements in research, teaching and student, alumni and civic engagement. But we discover and learn in Mississauga and Peel because here, in this place, we can achieve global impact through local success.
This local engagement is the basis of a virtuous circle. Most of our students live in Peel, Toronto or the nearby Halton regions. Many faculty, staff and librarians choose Mississauga as their home. International students enrol at UTM to be part of U of T, a world-renowned, international institution, and then they often remain in Peel after graduation, starting careers that benefit our region’s economy and society. We make this place—in Mississauga, Brampton, the Western GTA and beyond—a core of our institutional identity because we belong to the communities we serve.
- Incorporate Mississauga’s history, culture, and City and regional priorities into campus identity and planning.
- Foster community-engaged teaching, learning, research and service in our city and the Peel region.
- Ground UTM’s contribution to U of T’s global reputation for excellence in our positive local impact.
- Have we connected the campus’s past and future to those of Mississauga, Brampton, Peel and the western part of the Greater Toronto Area?
- Do members of the UTM community feel a sense of place-based belonging?
- Have we built partnerships between U of T and local stakeholders, including other anchor institutions in Peel, to support life-long learning, health and wellbeing, social justice,
- Indigenous reconciliation, entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability in our region?
- Have we contributed to sustainable economic development and meaningful employment in our region, both at UTM and beyond our campus?
- Do our local partnerships, initiatives and successes resonate in the tricampus U of T, in Canada and globally?