New APRU member - Simon Fraser University
August 10, 2021

August 10, 2021


We move beyond tradition. We go where others won’t.  And we deliver a world-class education.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) was founded in 1965 and was known as a radical campus at the time. While maintaining an atmosphere that challenges conventions, celebrates new ideas and embraces unconventional partnerships, we have become Canada’s leading comprehensive university and one of the country’s top research-intensive universities.

With three vibrant urban campuses, we host more than 37,000 students, in eight faculties, spanning a broad range of fundamental, interdisciplinary and applied research topics. As Canada’s top comprehensive university, SFU has been ranked first every year by Maclean’s Rankings, apart from 2014, when it was ranked second. Times Higher Education places SFU within the top 10 worldwide for impact on sustainable cities and communities and within the top 50 overall in the 2021 Impact Rankings. SFU placed in the top 10 worldwide for three key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): climate action (SDG 13); sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11; and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16).

SFU’s Burnaby campus sits atop Burnaby Mountain, overlooking the Burrard Inlet and Rocky Mountains

SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. Our commitment to engagement informs how we mobilize knowledge and further our contributions to local communities, across Canada and around the world. By creating and mobilizing knowledge, nurturing partnerships, and harnessing the power of research, engagement at SFU is an instrument for change.

SFU has a critical need to collaborate across borders, seek solutions to pressing global problems and develop in our students the competencies needed to be responsible and engaged global citizens. The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) plays an important role in promoting international collaboration across the Asia Pacific Region. SFU is now Canada’s second APRU member institution and is well-positioned to contribute to APRU’s mission of advancing knowledge and innovation to address the challenges of the 21st century.

“We are thrilled to join the APRU network as the second Canadian university member,” says Joy Johnson, SFU’s president and vice-chancellor. “SFU has strong historic and continuing connections to the Pacific Rim region. Our strengths and priorities are well aligned to APRU’s Pacific Rim challenges, and we look forward to working collaboratively with APRU’s members to advance our region’s most pressing challenges.”


We deliver academic and research excellence. Building on a solid foundation of fundamental research, we are committed to disseminating knowledge and harnessing new ideas and innovations for the benefit of society.

SFU’s Strategic Research Plan positions the university to continue to grow its capacity in research and knowledge mobilization across diverse sectors. It also identifies strengths at SFU that have led to the establishment of four research clusters: Big Data; Health Technology and Health Solutions; New Materials and Technology for Sustainability; and Community-based Research.

SFU ranks among Canada’s top 15 research universities and enjoys the fastest growing research income, having surpassed $100 million in 2013 and reached $167.3 million in 2020.

SFU students can access academic and research opportunities through research partnerships in over 125 countries.

Simon Fraser University is one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, consistently placing among Canada’s top 15 research universities in global and national university rankings.


Community engagement is a core component of everything we do. SFU builds and nurtures community connections at home and abroad as an integral part of its academic and research mission.

In Canada, we are striving to increase awareness of Indigenous history, culture and knowledge—both within the university and in the greater community.

Our faculty, researchers and students collaborate with government, business and community partners worldwide to incubate and accelerate transformative discoveries for positive social and economic impact.

Designed around a collaborative research infrastructure, SFU’s Community-Engaged Research initiative promotes principles of participation, cooperation, social transformation and knowledge translation to strengthen the capacity of SFU’s researchers and students, to engage respectfully and ethically with community members.

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples, on whose unceded traditional territories our three campuses reside.


SFU offers plenty of ways to learn both in and out of the classroom. We inspire our students to grow their study and research skills and challenge themselves to become better learners and leaders. All of our students—undergraduate, graduate and lifelong learners—are valued members of the diverse and growing SFU community. We offer a wide variety of program options for students to build their own undergraduate degree; we combine majors, minors and certificates to create an experience unique to each student; and all eight faculties offer master’s and doctoral degrees.

SFU’s Semester in Dialogue is a one-semester, full-time program designed to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility and encourage their passion for improving society.

SFU RADIUS’s Health Change Lab is a once-in-a-degree immersive program that gives students the opportunity to investigate a local social problem, build a sustainable business intervention to respond to it, and pitch their ideas to community influencers—all in just 13 weeks.

And, our new School of Sustainable Energy Engineering prepares students to become global leaders in clean technology. This school’s interdisciplinary program is offered in a new state-of-the-art facility.

These are just a few of the many examples of unique programs offered at Simon Fraser University.

Our vibrant, diverse and inclusive community welcomes undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.


Together, with our global partners, we make a difference, advancing engagement, learning and research for societal good. The pursuit of knowledge and cultivating dialogue to address global challenges is core to SFU’s vision. Faculty and students conduct research and learn alongside colleagues from around the world. We have one of the highest percentages of international students of any university in Canada.

Our global partnerships for research, studying abroad, academic collaborations and development activities ensure our students and faculty are active global citizens. Our Study Abroad programs range from dual degree programs to exchanges, work abroad opportunities and field schools with important considerations in mind due to the current global pandemic. SFU offers international experiences at home and abroad.

At Simon Fraser University, students receive a world-class education culminating in a degree that has lifelong value


  • 37,000+ students
  • 6,500 faculty and staff
  • 170,000 proud alumni in 143 countries
  • Canada’s first Fairtrade Gold campus
  • Among the world’s top 50 universities for our commitment to sustainability (Times Higher Education’s 2021 University Impact Rankings)
  • #1 Canadian university for Global Top Innovative Universities (World’s Universities with Real Impact 2021)
  • #3 among world’s top universities for our entrepreneurial spirit, and first in Canada (World’s Universities with Real Impact 2021)
  • #2 Canadian university for international outlook (Times Higher Education 2020)


Learn more about SFU’s performance and rankings.

Watch how SFU is on the move.

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