2019: Education leaders in Waterloo region foresee talent focus

Students in Waterloo region have incredible talent, from elementary school right through to post-secondary institutions. Interest in that talent will continue to grow in 2019, education leaders predict.

'Waterloo region will continue to be a magnet and leader' for students, Laurier president says

Talos is a humanoid robot. This one is owned by the University of Waterloo's engineering faculty and is housed at the school's new Robohub. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

There's no question there are some very smart and talented people in Waterloo region.

That goes for students all the way from elementary school to post-secondary institutions and educational leaders from the region expect interest in students to continue to grow in 2019.

That's according to a list of predictions compiled by Sandy Pell. She does communications at the Kitchener video platform company Vidyard and is founder of WRPR, a Waterloo Region Public Relations community that fosters conversation between the region's communications leaders.

She compiled a list of predictions from techbusiness and education leaders and shared them with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

Here are the predictions from some of the region's leaders in education.

"Waterloo region will continue to be a magnet and leader in Ontario and the country — for post-secondary students, talent recruitment and retention, and quality of life for all ages. 

"What will set us apart is our focus on building community as we support the development of people alongside economic prosperity through the growth of start-ups and the evolution of existing organizations. We will continue to recognize the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and work together to address pressing challenges in the region and beyond."

Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University

"In 2019, we can expect to see increased attention in on Waterloo talent from a wide range of investors and partners looking to access the knowledge and technology we have developed here and learn from our experience.

"This will be particularly true in the technologies around climate change adaptation, especially clean technologies; artificial intelligence, data analytics and robotics; as well as in medical technology including from quantum science. In 2019, the Waterloo region will be a further pivotal force as Canada looks to maintain its advantage in these important areas."

— Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo

"The year ahead will be full of energy and enthusiasm across the Waterloo Region District School Board.

"We will continue to innovate and inspire, to practice evidence-based decision making, and engage with our school communities like never before. We will celebrate our students' lived experiences, offer a continued focus on our strategic plan, and promote equity and inclusion for all.

"We will continue to put our students first — each and every one — and will support their pathways to graduation to ensure they are best positioned to meet with success. The future is bright here in Waterloo region and we know 2019 will be an incredible year."

Alana Russell, chief communications officer for the Waterloo Region District School Board

Read more predictions:

Laurier president Deborah MacLatchy shows Muneeza Sheikh some fish in her research lab. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)


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