Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad hosts Mayor of Toronto and President, Ryerson University | Aga Khan Academies

Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad hosts Mayor of Toronto and President, Ryerson University

14 April 2017

The Academy was honoured to welcome Mayor John Tory of Toronto and his team on Friday 24th March 2017 as part of a wider Toronto trade mission to India. Ryerson University President, Mohamed Lachemi, and the new Director of Ryerson International, Todd Carmichael, were a parallel part of the visiting Canadian contingent and spent a full day engaging with staff and students.

Mayor Tory was in Hyderabad for the closing stages of the City of Toronto Trade Mission to India and Sri Lanka with his team of city councillors and staff, as well as delegates from Toronto’s business and academic communities. During their hour and a half visit, they met with the Head of Academy, Dr Fisher, for an introduction to Hyderabad as part of the global Academies network.  Academy merit scholars and senior management shared afternoon tea with our distinguished visitors who were especially keen to know about grade 10 student personal ‘innovation’ projects and the future aspirations of Academy grade 12 students in terms of their ongoing education in Canada.

Dr Lachemi and Mr Carmichael arrived earlier and enjoyed a campus tour; warm interactions with the Head of Academy Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, University Counsellor Pragati Pandey and eight grade 12 students who have applied to Ryerson. Two of these have been accepted into the Ryerson nursing program – the Academy’s first nursing admissions. The Ryerson team was demonstrably impressed with His Highness’ vision to develop leadership in exceptional young people and influence tomorrow’s outcomes across the developing world, and the Academies mission to achieve this through IB centres of academic excellence in 15 countries. Fellowship possibilities were discussed as a Ryerson International contribution for Academy students. There is strong interest in supporting our students in their search for big answers to big problems – a global citizenship and ‘service and stewardship’ theme linked to their grade 10 IB MYP Personal Projects and our recent ‘Innovation Expo.’

Ryerson University, a public research institution based in Toronto, has over 40 career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs catering to close to 40,000 students. In 2015, its Digital Media Zone (DMZ) was ranked the leading university-based incubator in North America by a Stockholm-based research organization called UBI Global. DMZ is considered a global leader in fostering innovation and tech start-ups, and has incubated and accelerated 282 businesses to date. Collectively, these businesses have raised $306M in seed funding, and have gone on to expand internationally and be acquired. DMZ has significant partnerships in India, South Africa, UK and Tunisia, creating an ever-expanding network of incubator hubs in the developing world.

Some exciting possibilities for our grade 10-12 students were discussed as part of expanding the Ryerson ‘innovation’ presence in India as well as discussing further career options for all Academy graduating cohorts. Mayor Tory left with a desire to return as a volunteer in supporting our leadership development program at the end of his official term. We look forward to seeing him again.