The late 1950s - the time of our founding - was an exciting period in the history of higher education in Canada. More students were going to university than ever before. In fact, enrolment was expected to double by the following decade - an unprecedented amount of growth.
Students were enrolling in record numbers because they were witnessing the link between postsecondary education and scientific and economic advances. Some would argue that the launching of Sputnik 1, the Soviet space satellite, prompted this realization, symbolizing Cold War competition in advancing science and technology. It was a catalyst for change, and from it stemmed a great wave of planning for university expansion and growth.
Since most universities were reticent to expand, the only alternative was to create more universities - and hence the birth of York University. We are frequently referred to as the first of this new crop.
The vision of York University is the pursuit, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. We promise excellence in research and teaching in pure, applied and professional fields. We test the boundaries and structures of knowledge. We cultivate the critical intellect.