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Ryerson University to launch RBC Immigrant Diversity and Inclusion Project

Donation from RBC opens doors for new research focused on new Canadians

TORONTO, November 14, 2013 - Ryerson University today announced it received a $1.75-million gift from RBC to support the RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project - an action-oriented research study into the economic and social issues facing immigrants, and the creation of a series of targeted student internships.

The funding announcement was made following a panel discussion at Ryerson called "Journey to Success: Insights from Immigrant Entrepreneurs," which included several prominent business, media and community leaders.

The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project allows Ryerson to build on its unique strengths. Ryerson faculty and students come from more than 100 countries and speak more than 100 languages, and over 22 per cent of its full-time students are first-generation university attendees. The University has built partnerships in more than 80 countries, and research at Ryerson is already making significant contributions to shaping immigration policy and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. The University also offers an interdisciplinary MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies.

The second component of the RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project is the creation of student internships that target specific issues and particular population groups. Internship opportunities will be available on campus, but in partnership with not-for-profit or community partners including RBC.

"We are very pleased that RBC has chosen to direct this gift to Ryerson and to advancing action-oriented research and offering immediate benefits to immigrants today," said Wendy Cukier, vice president research and innovation and founder of the Diversity Institute, Ryerson University. "The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project will help reduce immigrant underemployment, advance our understanding of immigrant markets and community needs, and properly harness the skills of immigrant entrepreneurs. Together with a strong partner, Ryerson is committed to integrating theory with practice to effect change."

"At RBC, we are passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion because it's not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do," said Janice Fukakusa, chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, RBC. "That's why we're pleased to be funding this important research to make a real and positive difference for new Canadians."

The funding and research project is another example of Ryerson's expertise in diversity research and how Ryerson University is making a positive impact on society through research, teaching and social innovation. Ryerson is Canada's first Ashoka Changemaker (opens external website in new window) campus, part of an international network of universities and colleges that are committed to solving real-world problems in new and creative ways.

Adam Kahan, vice-president, University Advancement, says "The investment of RBC drives the university closer to its $200-million fundraising goal for the Make Your Mark campaign, focused on strengthening our research agenda and providing our students with the very best opportunities for a distinctive and career-oriented education."

Ryerson's Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS), the Diversity Institute, and the International Research Institute have international reputations for leadership in research and action. The University also offers the largest entrepreneurship program in the country and is home to internationally recognized Digital Media Zone where more than half of the innovators were born outside of Canada. Ryerson's interdisciplinary MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies and an interdisciplinary PhD program in Policy Studies with a specialization in Immigration, Settlement, and Diaspora Policies offer a wide range of perspectives on the challenges facing immigrant communities. Ryerson also has several large research projects focusing on health issues facing immigrants and their families.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 155,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit (opens external website in new window)

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For more information:

Johanna VanderMaas
Media Relations Officer, Ryerson University
416-979-5000 ex.4630

Follow us on Twitter: @RyersonU