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WC2 Toronto 2018 Symposium

About WC2 Network

The WC2 Network brings together top universities located in the heart of major world cities to address culture, environment and political issues of common interest to world cities. WC2 aims to advance understanding and recognition of the role of universities in world cities and issues that are of common interest to them, both locally and internationally. The flow of staff, students and information domestically and across borders contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of world cities, their universities and their potential to impact and aid each other.

The WC2 network was established in September 2010 by City, University of London and currently has 10 member institutions.


2018 Toronto WC2 Symposium - Migration, the City and the University

The overarching theme of Migration, the City and the University applies with equal force to all of the cities within our WC2 Network.  The city is the locus on migration and universities, including their researchers and graduate students, have a social responsibility to the city of which they are an integral part. With this theme, we will be identifying and discovering the intersecting challenges of migration and integration.

Hosted by Ryerson University, the symposium will take place from August 12th to 17th, 2018.


The 2018 Symposium will take place from Sunday, August 12th to Friday, August 17th, 2018.


The Symposium will be held at Ryerson University, at the Ted Rogers School of Management building, located at 55 Dundas Street West  The campus is located in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Who Can Attend?

The symposium is primarily open to faculty and undergraduate, graduate and PhD students at WC2 member universities.

About Ryerson University

Located in downtown Toronto – the largest city in Canada – the Ryerson campus is immersed in urban, cosmopolitan surroundings and is steps away from major centres for health, business, entertainment, fashion, industry and design. This proximity affords amazing opportunities for learning and research. Ryerson University is recognized as a leading institution for research and innovation, being ranked the top institution for undergraduate research in Canada in 2014. Over the past decade, the university has invested in heavily in innovation and is now home to 125+ research centres, institutes and labs.


About Toronto, Canada

Located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario with 2.7 million residents, Toronto is the largest city in Canada.  With nearly half of its population born outside of Canada, Toronto is home to one of the most multicultural urban areas in the world. The diversity in cultures and communities have helped create Toronto’s identity as a vibrant global city.



We thank you for your interest in our symposium. Registration is now closed for this event, if you are interested or have questions please contact . 

For students, please note that you must be nominated by your institution in order to register. 

Immigration Requirements

For more information on what you need to enter Canada, please visit: the Government of Canada: Citizenship and Immigration webpage, external link.  If your country is not listed below please find out if you need an eTA or Visa, external link.

The following countries require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board a flight to Canada*:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom

The following countries require a Visa prior to entering Canada*:

  • China
  • Russia
  • South Africa


Find out about the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), external link and apply for an eTA, external link.

Find out about Visa applications, external link and apply for a visitor visa, external link.


* This information is valid as of March 21, 2018. Please double check the Government of Canada: Citizenship and Immigration webpage, external link for the latest travel requirements.


Letters of Invitation

Please note that letters of invitation will be sent as a PDF file within 3-7 business days of registration.  If for some reason you did not receive a letter, or if you require a hard copy, please contact



As the Summer Symposium takes place in August, the weather in Toronto is pleasantly warm with average temperatures between 22℃ and 29℃ (72℉ and 84℉).



*all prices are listed in Canadian Dollars (CAD) and do not include HST or additional fees.

Discounted rates are available on a first come, first served basis. Please note that during the month of August Toronto is particularly busy and hotels are in high demand. All hotels are within 2-5 minute walking distance to Ryerson University.


Chelsea Hotel (suggested symposium hotel)
DoubleTree Hilton

108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, external link

Reservation Link, external link

Corporate Account: 560043357

Price: $199.00 per night

Bond Place Hotel

65 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 2G8, external link

Reservation Link, external link

Access Code: RYERSON

Price: $149.00 to $200.00 per night

Pantages Hotel

200 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1V8, external link

Reservation Link, external link

Access Code: RYERSON

Price: $185.00 to $245.00 per night

Student Accommodations (on-campus residence)

*all prices are listed in Canadian Dollars (CAD) and do not include HST or additional fees.

On-campus accomodations are only available to students, and are offered on a first come, first served basis. Limited spaces available.

International Living/Learning Centre (ILC)

240 Jarvis Street Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2L1, external link

Reservation Link

*Please note that you must enter the code in order to reserve using the special accommodation rate. 

Access Code: 2018WC2

Price: $87.00 per night 



Sunday August 12th

4:00-5:00 pm


4:00-5:00 pm

WC2 Executive Group meeting.

5:00-7:00 pm

Welcome cocktail reception.


Monday August 13th

8:00-8:30 am


8:30-9:15 am

Opening Remarks.

9:15-12:00 pm


12:00-1:00 pm

Group lunch.

1:00-3:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

3:00-3:30 pm

Afternoon refreshments.

3:30-5:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.


Tuesday August 14th

8:30-9:00 am

Morning refreshments.

9:00-11:30 am

Concurrent sessions.

11:30-1:00 pm

Group lunch.

1:00-3:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

3:00-3:30 pm

Afternoon refreshments.

3:30-5:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

5:00-6:00 pm

WC2 Strategy Group meeting.

5:00-6:00 pm

WC2 Executive Group meeting.


Wednesday August 15th

8:30-9:00 am

Morning refreshments.

9:00-11:30 am

Concurrent sessions.

9:00-11:30 am

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

11:30-1:00 pm

Group lunch.

1:00-3:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

1:00-3:00 pm

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

3:00-3:30 pm

Afternoon refreshments.

3:30-5:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

3:30-5:00 pm

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

7:00-9:00 pm

Strategy Group dinner.

7:00-9:00 pm

Theme dinners.

Thursday August 16th

8:30-9:00 am

Morning refreshments.

9:00-11:30 am

Concurrent sessions.

9:00-11:30 am

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

11:30-1:00 pm

Group lunch.

1:00-3:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

1:00-3:00 pm

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

3:00-3:30 pm

Afternoon refreshments.

3:30-5:00 pm

Concurrent sessions.

3:30-5:00 pm

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities.

5:00-6:00 pm

WC2 Strategy Group meeting.

Friday August 17th

8:30-9:00 am

Morning refreshments.

9:00-12:00 pm

Closing Plenary and Remarks.



The question of whether or not migration, in particular urban migration, has led to increased entrepreneurial activities that encourage job creation and employment has been a popular topic of discussion. For large cities, where most immigrants tend to settle, job creation for migrants becomes a significant issue especially if the migration pattern is not driven by larger, higher paying, established firms seeking experienced professional employees.

In the context of urban universities, the central question is “What role can city-based universities and their business schools play in improving the income earning potential for migrants?” Historically, the evidence has supported the notion that a person’s wage earning capacity can be enhanced through education. This raises the following supplementary questions:

1.       Does that notion remain the same today?

2.       What are business schools doing to educate migrants?

3.       What barriers exist for migrants in seeking further education?

4.       Can migrant-focused entrepreneurship education improve self-employment success?

5.       Are there examples of best practices at city-based business schools that can be used to inform education policy pertaining to urban migrants?

While the Business Theme will hopefully address all of these questions it is the last one that will form the basis for our activities and presentations in WC2 Toronto 2018.  I invite all of the Business Theme participants to consider these questions. We encourage the involvement of graduate students with an interest in this theme and who may wish to present their work at our symposium.  

This year’s Business theme will entail a mix of academic presentations by faculty and students related to this year’s Business theme, site visits to new immigrant entrepreneurship and education initiatives in the City of Toronto, an integrative challenge for the graduate students, and a planned social event.


For more information, please contact the Ryerson Business theme lead:

Philip Walsh, MBA, PhD, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University,

PDF fileBusiness Schedule for download

Health and care systems and organisations throughout the world are facing increasingly complex challenges and are under extreme pressure to reorganize and improve outcomes for their populations with increased demand through the development of new technologies and the ageing population. As the population ages the number of people with at least one long-term condition is predicted to rise dramatically as the lifetime prevalence of a number of conditions are age related. Diseases from noncommunicable causes such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) have been identified as key conditions leading to the increased costs of managing long term conditions. At the same time, the number of deaths from infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and vaccine-preventable diseases, is decreasing. Continuous change resulting from new developments, new leaders and new threats bring great uncertainty and provide further challenges to global health organisations. An increase in global migration, the refugee crisis and climate change will have a significant impact on global health for decades or even centuries to come.

The global health club of WC2 is committed to focusing on some of these major current areas in healthcare, bringing together academics and practitioners from the major world cities and universities, working in key areas of health and health care and at the forefront of innovation and change. The club, with its mix of professions, disciplines, cultures, cities and experience will provide opportunities to compare and explore themes around health policy, health systems, health inequalities, global health, technological advances and health innovations from theoretical and clinical perspectives.

A major theme of focus for the health club is ageing in urban environments, and incorporated within this theme, the health club has and continues to explore the following main areas:

  • Congestive heart failure as a major condition associated with ageing. CHF affects approximately 1% of people aged 50 years and older and about 5% of those aged 75 years and older. About 10% of patients diagnosed with heart failure die within 1 year, and about 40% die within 5 years of diagnosis.
  • The Economics of Healthcare and comparative health economics. It is difficult to compare the relative performance of health systems. In making these comparisons it is important not only to account for cost but also to include an assessment of the quality of health care.
  • Health Inequalities in relation to Healthcare Delivery
  • Culturally responsive care
  • Public Health Initiatives in World Cities
  • The Role of Digital Technology and gamification in in supporting healthcare
  • Quality of life and ageing in Urban Environments
  • Innovations, leadership, service reformation in healthcare

The health club comprises of academics and students, both MSc and PhD levels, from the WC2 partners. It has both an education and research remit. We are interested in further collaboration with global partners, and invite you to contact us with any further enquiries.


For more information please contact the Ryerson Global Health theme lead:

Oona St. Amant, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University,

PDF fileGlobal Health Schedule for download

The most recent addition to WC2, the Food Security and Food Policy theme is looking to explore the interrelated effects of migration and food culture. Three key thematic areas have been identified for the 2018 Symposium:

  • Food security, immigrants and the city
  • Sustainable food systems for healthy diets
  • Urban food policy and governance


Excursions have been planned to community based food security organizations, as has a public evening panel on the food policy process in Toronto and Canada.


For more information, please contact the Ryerson Food Policy theme leads: 

Cecilia Rocha, PhD, Director & Professor, Ryerson School of Nutrition,

Fiona Yeudall, PhD and RD, Associate Professor & Associate Director, Dietetics, Ryerson School of Nutrition,

Mustafa Koc, PhD, Professor, Ryerson Department of Sociology,

PDF fileFood Policy Schedule for download

The industrial world has reached a point in its development where the undisciplined exploitation of natural resources and the predominant generation of energy utilising fossil fuels is no longer an option.  Coupled with continued population growth and expanding industrialisation, new solutions regarding the management of our natural resources and the means and methods for generation of energy are urgently needed.  Furthermore, the impact of climate change requires nations to create a new model for the consumption and generation of power which necessitates a change in methodology and strategic planning.  The consortium of universities of the WC2 University Network is committed to addressing these issues and the Eco-campus group of WC2 is engaged in research designed to find specific solutions.

The goal of the Eco-campus group of WC2, in its commitment to addressing the global issue of environment management and the challenges of climate change, is to develop the “Zero Emissions Urban University Model.”  WC2 universities have the unique opportunity to apply their intellectual capital to developing a systematic scientific model for a university that could achieve zero carbon emissions performance. This model can be a working demonstration of technological, engineering, and political solutions that deal with the pressing global issues of climate change and sustainability.

Adding more green buildings is only one piece of the sustainable city. Configuration of the urban physical environment to achieve the goals of minimizing environmental damage, elevating social inclusion and operating with fiscal responsibility, requires cross-disciplinary thinking and collaboration. The WC2 Eco-campus group is committed to fostering meaningful debate and visioning of how global cities can achieve these pillars of sustainability.

At Ryerson University, WC2 2018 will bring together faculty, students, industry and government with intellectual capital in the fields of architecture, engineering, urban planning and the social sciences for the purpose of envisioning and re-envisioning sustainable urban design from the perspective of how city space is used, to the function and efficiency of its built infrastructure. Participants in the WC2 Eco-campus program will explore and create a community plan for Ryerson University, through field excursions, discussion and team projects. This plan will complement the current vision outlined in the university’s master plan, where human-scale design emphasizes function, inclusivity, building excellence, and uses aesthetics to cultivate inspiration and vitality in a downtown urban centre.


For more information, please contact the Ryerson Eco-Campus theme leads: 

Andrew Millward, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor & Undegraduate Program Director (EUS), Ryerson Department of Geography & Environmental Studies,

Nicholas Reid, MSc, Executive Director, Ryerson Urban Water Center,


PDF fileEco Campus Schedule for download

Transport is at the heart of the development of world cities, as the advantages in carrying out economic activities in proximity (often called “economies of agglomeration”) justify the very existence of cities. Transport is the means to achieving this proximity and increasing the extent to which a city’s activities are easily linked to each other, and therefore, in a world of many competing cities, those with more efficient transport systems have an advantage.

However, providing an efficient transport system in a city to enable the smooth mobility of people and goods does not come without a cost. In many cities today the existing transport infrastructure cannot cope with the steadily increasing demand, and the continuous rise of urban population has rendered many transport systems obsolete, which affects not only the economic aspects of city life but also the quality of life of the residents.

World cities today face a number of problems, which result from their objective of providing efficient transport while at the same time ensuring sustainability and a high standard of living. These include congestion, car dependence, pollution, land use, safety, economic prosperity, as well as political issues, and given that these are all naturally interrelated, the isolated treatment of a single problem without consideration to the others gives rise to additional complexity. A holistic approach is, therefore, required for tackling the transport problems and challenges of world cities.

The development of methodologies and tools to address the transport problems of world cities with simultaneous consideration of all the problem areas is the aim of the WC2 Transport club. Subject areas of focus include:

  • integrated transport planning
  • traffic management and operations
  • transport safety and security
  • Intelligent Transport Systems
  • railway operations
  • transport modelling
  • travel behaviour
  • transport and public realm
  • transport impacts assessment
  • pollution and environmental sustainability


Incorporating the need for sustainable growth, the main focus this year is exploring the various challenges associated with moving away from traditional transportation models and implementing the electrification of public and private modes of transportation. Participants will visit TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) and Go Transit facilities to gain a greater first hand understanding of the challenges.


For more information, please contact the Ryerson Transport Theme Lead: 

Bala Venkatesh, PhD, Academic Director, Centre for Urban Energy & Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Ryerson University,


PDF fileTransport Schedule for download

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities: The Future of Higher Education

Ryerson University will host the 4th Annual Symposium of the WC2 network in Toronto, ON, Canada under the overarching theme: Migration, the City and the University.  The WC2 Network brings together top universities located in the heart of major world cities to address culture, environment and political issues of common interest to world cities. 

This year, a short symposium on issues of globalization and internationalization as it applies to higher education is included. The purpose of this symposium is to act as a first step in bringing together faculty and higher education administrators to discuss their perspectives on globalization and internationalization of higher education and to achieve recommendations for practice.  We are welcoming community, university and WC2 participants to join in this teaching symposium.

The teaching symposium on globalized and internationalized universities will take place from Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 to Thursday, August 16th, 2018. If you are interested in also attending the full WC2 symposium, you will be offered the opportunity to register for that event following registration for this.

We thank you for your interest in our symposium.  Registration is now closed for the Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities: The Future of Higher Education, if you are interested in attending WC2 please contact

PDF fileWC2 2018 Parallel Program Schedule for download.


For further information, please contact the Program lead:

Maureen Reed, PhD, Professor, Psychology, Ryerson University,

Globalized Universities, Internationalized Universities: The Future of Higher Education

Date: Wednesday August 15, Thursday August 16, closing symposium for WC2 Friday August 17, 2018.

Time: Wednesday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM; Thursday 9:30AM-3:00 PM and Friday 9:00-11:30 AM.


Ryerson is a member of the WC2 network which includes ten universities from cities around the world. Each year these universities meet to discuss issues of collective interest. This year, a short symposium on issues of globalization and internationalization as it applies to higher education is included.  All WC2 members are welcome, as well as local and international higher education experts. The purpose of this symposium is to act as a first step in bringing together faculty and higher education administrators to discuss their perspectives on globalization and internationalization of higher education and to achieve recommendations for practice.

Proposed Time:
The event runs from for 1.5 days during the WC2 meeting.

We expect approximately 30 to 40 individuals. These include faculty members, college/university administrators, and students (graduate and undergraduate).

Suggested Program


8:30 am

Registration and light snack.

9:00 am

Welcome from the Vice Provost Academic (Marcia Moshe) and, Dean of Arts (Pamela Sugiman) and Vice President International (Anver Saloojee).

9:15-9:45 am

Program Begins: Morning Focus: Globalization.

Maureen welcomes and describes our purpose, background from literature, including cultural capital, critical race theory, challenges and barriers of globalization and internationalization of higher education curriculum. What is the gap? Does a gap matter? Why internationalized and globalized curriculum? Followed by a 10 minute discussion (What are the learning outcomes for globalization and internationalization in higher education).

9:45-10:15 am

Higher Education in South Africa: Cultural capital and implications for educational globalization.

Mandivavarira Maodzwa – Taruvinga, Elizabeth S. Ndofirepi, Raazia Moosa

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

10:15-10:20 am


10:20-11:15 am

Globalization in practice.

International University Partnerships: Developing Equitable Relationships.

Mark Hertlein, City University, London, England.

Indigenous Peoples, Inter-national Diplomacy & the University.

Hayden King, The Yellowhead Institute, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.


11:15-11:40 am

Small group break-out to share globalization strategies and methods to overcome barriers
Guided Discussion: Group sharing to create a picture of globalization from differing perspectives, particularly at the institutional level.


11:40-1:00 pm


1:10-1:30 pm

Big City Problems: The unique challenges to global engagement faced by urban institutions

David Begg, Ryerson International, Toronto Ontario.

1:30-2:40 pm

Internationalization in Practice

The Global Classroom, Lon Appleby, Durham College, Canada.

Creating Authentic Global Learning Opportunities, Lori Beckstead, Professor and Director, Allan Slaight Radio Institute, Ryerson University.

Diversity, international perspectives and cultural inclusion in curriculum, Rana Latif, International Development Manager, Ryerson University.


2:40-3:05 pm

Small Group break out-sharing internationalization strategies, barriers, challenges and methods to overcome.

3:05-3:30 pm


3:30-4:00 pm

Guided Discussion: Group sharing to create a picture of internationalization from differing perspectives, at the classroom and curricular level.

3:00-4:15 pm

Day wrap-up.

5:00 pm

Dinner for presenters.



9:30-10:00 am

Review points from the previous days discussions, highlighting most important issues from the group at the global level and at the internationalization level.

10:00-10:30 am

Based on previous days discussion questions posed to groups about global and internationalization strategies and practices.

10:30-11:00 am

Learning outcomes again: What is the purpose of globalization and internationalization, small and full group discussion.

11:00-11:30 am

Equity diversity and inclusion: How can strategies be made equitable, lessons from South Africa (South African delegation leads a discussion).

11:30-1:00 pm


1:00-3:00 pm

a.       Discussion: Where do we go from here?

b.       Tour of local higher education internationalization projects.



9:00-11:30 am

Closing symposium.


Public Transportation

Union Pearson Express, external link 

Travel from Toronto Pearson Airport to Union Station in just 25 minutes. 

Adult One-Way - $12.35


Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), external link

Ryerson is around the corner from Dundas Subway Station on the Yonge/University Line (also referred to as Line 1).

The subway ride from Union Station to Dundas Station (Ryerson University) is approximately 5 minutes.

TTC Fare - $3.25


Airport Taxi Service

Airport Taxis are often available at set rates. The trip from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Ryerson costs approximately $55.00 with Airport Taxi Service. Telephone: (416) 445-1999


Local Events

Guidelines for the 2018 WC2 Symposium Poster Contest

In order to highlight student research pertaining to WC2 themes, the organizers of the 2018 Symposium have created a student academic poster contest to delve deeper into relevant topics.

Poster Topic

Using a previously established paper on a topic of your choosing relevant to the WC2 theme you are attending, participants are invited to create a poster for the WC2 Symposium. This should provide background information on the topic, highlight main findings, and provide concise conclusions in a visually engaging manner. Previously conducted research and current ongoing projects are welcome.

Suggested format

The poster should be large enough to showcase the required information in an easy to read and visually appealing format. As such, the poster should be at least 11 by 17 inches, however, larger formats are preferred.

  • Title: The paper’s title should be accompanied by your name and institution.
  • Introduction: Introduce your topic, thesis statement, and articulate how your research contributes to the specific field and the broader WC2 theme.
  • Research Method: Describe the methodology used (primary or secondary research and qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodology approach).
  • Results: Indicate what your research revealed, or if in early stages of the research, what you have discovered thus far.
  • Conclusions/Implications: Highlight implications, and explain how your finding impact your field and the broader research community.
Judging Criteria

Posters will be displayed from Monday August 13th through Thursday August 16th. A panel of judges will assess the posters based on the following criteria:

  • Academic merit
  • Clarity of information
  • Visual presentation

The top 3 posters will be awarded prizes on Friday August 17th during the Closing Plenary. The first place winner will have their choice of the prizes listed below. Prizes are jointly donated by Ryerson University’s Faculty of Arts and Ryerson International.

  • iPhone 8 (64 GB)
  • iPad (32 GB)
  • Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker


If you are interested in participating in the poster contest please complete the google formregistration form, external link by Sunday August 12th.

Posters are to be submitted during the Welcome Cocktail Reception on Sunday August 12th and Registration on Monday August 13th. The poster contest is open to individual student submissions only. If you have any questions regarding the poster contest, please email


General Inquiries

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter @WC2Network, external link and use the hashtag #WC2Toronto2018.


*Free wifi is available on campus. Log-in information will be provided upon arrival.