A mosaic at the University of Heidelberg depicts the trivium that was part of the medieval higher education system: Latin Grammar (including literature), rhetoric (which also covered law) and logic.

The subject matter may have been designed for the demands of the day. But the goal in the Middle Ages was just like the goal of the modern university: to train the next generation of young minds.

Universities have always responded to the forces of change while holding to the core values of the academy. The face-to-face relationships of professor-to-student, student-to-student, professor-to-professor—these represent tradition in a way that drives progress.

We are well aware that our students expect much more than a first-class education. They expect to have an additional edge over graduates from other institutions. One way UTSC delivers on these expectations is by building translational qualities into the academic program—in the lab, in the studio, and in the workplace through co-op programs.

We live in an exhilarating era of constant, rapid and unpredictable change. Universities help to make sense of it all.

Can we say where higher education is headed? I have the privilege of working with faculty who are setting the pace when it comes to interdisciplinary teaching and research, responding to emerging markets and technologies, innovating without breaking with tradition. We are a community of scholars committed to making a difference by promoting discovery, knowledge and understanding on issues of local, national and global importance; driving change as we respond to it; and preparing students for citizenship in a global and diverse world.

The enduring mission of higher education is the development of human beings and society through the cultivation and enrichment of the mind and spirit. We help shape people, who help shape societies across the globe. This is a great, worthy and timeless cause.

H.Bernie Kraatz, PhD

Vice-Principal, Research, University of Toronto Scarborough