Strategic vision aims for thriving children

By: Gerry Rucchin
June 10, 2019

Transforming education. Transforming lives. These are the two goals of the Faculty of Education’s Strategic Vision.

Dean Vicki Schwean announced the five-year vision to faculty, staff and Western University dignitaries during a kick-off celebration.

The blueprint for Western Education has set ambitious goals that will impact, children, families and society. The goal is to see all three groups flourish.

“So many children in our country today are experiencing significant poverty, disability or prejudice that affects their well-being and ability to be successful in life. They carry with them the consequences of having lived in these conditions for many years,” said Schwean.

Over the next five-years, faculty and staff will focus on:

  • Working together
  • Innovative and impactful thinking
  • Going global
  • Research with impact
  • Inclusive experience
  • Indigenization

Schwean is excited because the faculty will work together to conduct evidence-based research that will have an impact on public policy in Canada and around the world.

“Social justice will also be an important part of our faculty’s work,” said Schwean. “All of our efforts will focus on reducing social inequalities and making our world a better place.”

Further internationalization will take place during this time period. Schwean said faculty and students will have more international opportunities through exchanges and intercultural dialogue. Western Education will also recruit top international students and provide a welcoming atmosphere.

Indigenization is also a key component of the Strategic Vision. Besides involvement in developing Western University’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, Western Education’s goals are to excel in Indigenous teaching, learning, research and programming.

“We want to strengthen and build relationships that serve Indigenous populations and become a destination of choice for Indigenous students, staff and faculty,” said Schwean.

The Faculty of Education is entering the next five-years in a position of strength. Since 2012, the Faculty has doubled the number of graduate students, significantly grew the international student body, and increased research funding from $1 million to $24 million over the last year.

While Schwean’s term as Dean will end before the five-year strategic vision period is finished in 2023, she expects the faculty to achieve its goals.

“I hope in the next five years they produce ground breaking research that really helps us make a difference in the lives of individuals who are encountering all kinds of barriers to healthy development,” said Schwean. “That to me would be the greatest gift that we could give.”