The foundation of Hamilton’s transformation into a highly diverse knowledge-based economy is the city’s educational sector, including a world-leading university and a college that consistently tops student satisfaction ratings.
Not only is education the fourth-highest employment sector in the city, it fuels the labour needs of existing businesses, attracts new investment and talent to Hamilton, and is a leading source of innovation and entrepreneurialism.
Hamilton is home to five postsecondary institutions, along with an impressive range of public, Catholic, French-language and private elementary and secondary schools. The latter includes the renowned Hillfield Strathallan College and Canada’s largest boarding school at Columbia International College.
“It cannot be overstated how important our educational institutions are to the goal of building the best workforce in Ontario, one of the targets of our five-year economic development action plan,” said Glen Norton, Director of Economic Development for the City of Hamilton.
“They are critical partners in building the Hamilton of tomorrow.”
Recent accolades for McMaster University include the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities, in which McMaster placed 66th place globally and third in Canada, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in which it ranked 78th in the world among 18,000 universities.
“As our international stature continues to grow, so too does our ability to attract great researchers, students and partners who want to work with us in creating
a brighter world,” said President Patrick Deane.
McMaster is also a leader in research and commercialization, much of it focused at McMaster Innovation Park.
Deane says one of the primary strengths of the city’s education sector is its willingness to collaborate.
“Hamilton’s higher education institutions leap at the chance to work with each other, the City and other partners to create new opportunities for students, our researchers, and our community. CityLAB is but one great example of McMaster, Mohawk and Redeemer working directly with the city and community stakeholders to support the city’s strategic priorities.”
Another example is tech accelerator The Forge, a partnership between McMaster, Mohawk College, the Innovation Factory and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. In three years, it’s been the starting point for 80 companies.
Mohawk College educates 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students each year. It’s the largest trainer of apprentices in Ontario and is among the top 15 colleges in Canada for applied research. Mohawk is undertaking the largest renewal of labs and classrooms in its history.
Mohawk is recognized as a leader in health and technology education, delivering collaborative degree programs with McMaster University, and making the College critical partners in Hamilton’s economy. The College is home to applied research centres of excellence focused on mobile and digital health solutions, additive manufacturing and energy distribution.
“Mohawk College is proud to call Hamilton home and play a part in making a great community an even better place to live, work and learn. Our greatest economic contribution is the 120,000 job-ready students who’ve graduated from Mohawk,” said President Ron McKerlie.
Mohawk is No. 1 for student satisfaction among all colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for seven years in a row and has topped satisfaction surveys among graduates five years in a row.
Redeemer University College
Redeemer University College is a privately funded Christian undergraduate university offering degrees in arts, science and education. Redeemer is home to 647 students and boasts an average class size of 20 and a faculty to student ratio of 14:1.
“Redeemer has prepared the next generation of difference-makers for 35 years. As a faith-based university, Redeemer brings a diverse perspective to the issues and challenges facing Hamilton and our wider community,” said Fred Verwoerd, interim president.
“Many Redeemer graduates settle in the area and have made significant contributions to ensuring that Hamilton is the kind of innovative, forward-thinking city in which citizens can thrive.”
Read the full Perspective Hamilton 2017 feature here.