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Annual Report 2019–20

Message from the Chair and President

We are keenly aware that 2019-20 may go down in history not for its own merits, but for being the year in which the pandemic started. Nonetheless, in this 2019-20 annual report, we’d like to dwell on the positive, and reflect on another year of accomplishment and growth at Seneca.

That accomplishment includes, in the concluding days of the year, an extraordinary effort from across Seneca to retool our programs and services to go online once it was evident that Ontario would not escape the full force of the coronavirus. Faculty, staff and administrators were tireless in their efforts to put the interests of our students first so they could successfully complete the semester already more than half over.

In next year’s annual report, we will share the story of how we dealt with the challenges and opportunities of 2020-21, a year we started off as virtual Seneca while planning a slow, safe return to campus once the public health authorities declared it prudent to do so.

For now, we will tell the pre-pandemic story, and how Seneca continued to deliver on our commitment to help our students become global citizens while earning a high-quality education.

It was a busy and productive year.

Seneca opened Seneca Downtown in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, a campus dedicated to offering professional programs and graduate certificates in flexible formats. As well, the Centre for Graduate and Professional Studies was established, part of our expansion of industry-focused graduate programs offered in online, part-time and compressed formats. The need for working professionals to upskill and augment their credentials while working is a trend we see accelerating.

We also forged ahead on Seneca 2020, the largest ever move of students, employees and programs among campuses as we take advantage of new teaching and learning spaces. We’re taking advantage of those spaces to provide synergy among programs and to enhance our students’ campus and academic experience.

One of the reasons Seneca was able to pivot so quickly and effectively to virtual delivery is the significant investment in building skills to move courses online. Prior to the pandemic, in the 2019-20 year alone, more than 500 hours of courses had been moved to a hybrid online model or fully online.

Seneca continues to strengthen our local partnerships with industry and other academic institutions to provide our students with the best possible opportunity to further their education.

Internationally, we continue to expand Seneca’s footprint and profile as a global leader in education, with the establishment of a new Fintech Centre in Mumbai in partnership with the Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research.

Here at home, we continue to solidify partnerships in sectors that are in high need of the kind of sophisticated and advance programming Seneca is known for. We partnered with Toronto Finance International to launch a new Cybersecurity & Threat Management graduate certificate program to meet the growing appetite across all sectors for talent.

It was one of many new credentials developed and launched to meet the needs of our local and global economy.

Finally, for the 11th year in a row, Seneca was named one of the Greater Toronto Area’s Top 100 Employers. It came as we were introducing Challenge Accepted as our recruitment campaign theme, a phrase that speaks both to the hard work and strong character required to be a successful Seneca student. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our students for choosing Seneca, our employees for their dedication and skill, our partners for their trust in us and our graduates for making us proud every day.

You all have accepted the challenge, and we are the better for it. 

Janet Beed
Chair, Board of Governors

David Agnew