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University of Waterloo

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The University of Waterloo (commonly referred to as Waterloo, UW or UWaterloo) is a public research university with a main campus located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 404 hectares (1,000 acres) of land in "Uptown" Waterloo, adjacent to Waterloo Park. The university offers academic programs administered by six faculties and ten faculty-based schools. The university also operates four satellite campuses and four affiliated university colleges. Waterloo is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. University of Waterloo is most famous for its Cooperative Education (co-op) programs, which allow the students to integrate their education with applicable work experiences. University of Waterloo operates the largest post secondary co-op program of its kind in the world, with over 19,000 co-op students and 5,200 employers.

The institution was established on 1 July 1957 as the Waterloo College Associate Faculties, a semi-autonomous entity of Waterloo College, then an affiliate of The University of Western Ontario. This entity formally separated from Waterloo College in 1959, and was incorporated as a university. It was established to fill the need to train engineers and technicians for Canada's growing postwar economy. It grew substantially over the next decade, adding a faculty of arts in 1960, and the College of Optometry of Ontario which moved from Toronto in 1967.

The university is co-educational, and has nearly 27,000 undergraduate and over 4,000 post-graduate students. Alumni and former students of the university can be found across Canada and in over 140 countries. The university ranked 200-300th in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, 152nd in the 2015–2016 QS World University Rankings, and 179th in the 2015–2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Waterloo's varsity teams, known as the Waterloo Warriors, compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

The University of Waterloo traces its origins to Waterloo College, the academic outgrowth of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, which was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario since 1925. When Gerald Hagey assumed the presidency of Waterloo College in 1953, he made it his priority to procure the funds necessary to expand the institution. While the main source of income for higher education in Ontario at the time was the provincial government, the Ontario government made it clear that it would not contribute to denominational colleges and universities.

Hagey soon became aware of the steps undertaken by McMaster University to make itself eligible for some provincial funding by establishing Hamilton College as a separate, non-denominational college affiliated with the university. Following that method, Waterloo College established the Waterloo College Associate Faculties on 4 April 1956, as a non-denominational board affiliated with the College. The academic structure of the Associated Faculties was originally focused on cooperative education in the applied sciences – largely built around the proposals of Ira Needles. Needles proposed a different approach towards education, including both studies in the classroom and training in industry that would eventually become the basis of the university's cooperative education program. While the plan was initially opposed by the Engineering Institute of Canada and other Canadian universities, notably the University of Western Ontario, the Associated Faculties admitted its first students in July 1957. On 25 January 1958, the Associated Faculties announced the purchase of over 74 hectares (180 acres) of land west of Waterloo College. By the end of the same year, the Associated Faculties opened its first building on the site, the Chemical Engineering Building.

In 1959, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed an Act which formally split the Associated Faculties from Waterloo College, and re-established it as the University of Waterloo. The governance was modelled on the University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a Senate, responsible for academic policy, and a Board of Governors exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to act as the institution's chief executive officer and act as a liaison between the two groups.

The legislative act was the result of a great deal of negotiation between Waterloo College, Waterloo College Associated Faculties, and St. Jerome's College, another denominational college in the City of Waterloo. While the agreements sought to safeguard the existence of the two denominational colleges, they also aimed at federating them with the newly established University of Waterloo. Due to disagreements with Waterloo College, the College was not formally federated with the new university. The dispute centred on a controversially worded section of the University of Waterloo Act, 1959, in which the College interpreted certain sections as a guarantee that it would become the Faculty of Art for the new university. This was something that the Associated Faculties was not prepared to accept. As a result of the controversy, Waterloo College's entire Department of Mathematics broke away from the College to join the newly established University of Waterloo, later joined by professors from the Economic, German, Modern Languages, and Russian departments.[24] Despite this controversy, until 1960 Hagey hoped that a last minute compromise between Waterloo College and the University could be achieved. Ultimately, however, the University created its own Faculty of Arts in 1960. It later established the first Faculty of Mathematics in North America on 1 January 1967. In 1967 the world's first Department of Kinesiology was created. The present legislative act which defines how the university should be governed, the University of Waterloo Act, 1972 was passed on 10 May 1972.

Although the coat of arms was in use since the 1960s, the arms were finally registered with Lord Lyon King of Arms in August 1987. In February 1995 the former president of the university, James Downey, signed the Tri-University Group (TUG) agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Guelph. Signed in a period of fiscal constraint, and when ageing library systems required replacing, the TUG agreement sought to integrate the library collections and services of the three universities.

Twenty-first century

In 2001, the university announced that it would develop the Waterloo Research and Technology Park in the north campus. The park was planned to house many of the high-tech industries in the area, and is supported by the university, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the provincial and federal governments, and Canada's Technology Triangle. The aim was to provide businesses with access to the university's faculty, co-operative education students, and alumni, as well as the university's infrastructure and resources. Groundbreaking was on 25 June 2002, with the first completed building, the Sybase campus building, opening on 26 November 2004. In 2010, the Waterloo Research and Tech Park was renamed as the David Johnston Research and Technology Park, after David Johnston, the 28th Governor General of Canada and former president of the university.

From 2009 to 2012, the university managed four undergraduate programs in Dubai. The university worked in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology, the largest post-secondary institution in the United Arab Emirates. Discussions regarding the partnership emerged in 2004, and the Dubai campus was officially opened in September 2009. Through the partnership, the university offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, civil engineering, financial analysis and risk management, and information technology management. The programs offered in Dubai took place in facilities provided by the Higher Colleges of Technology. On 30 October 2012, the university's Board of Governors decided to close the university's extension in Dubai.