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Vancouver | Assistant Professor |
Master of Public Policy and Administration

Renuga Nagarajan, Ph.D.



My passion for teaching was one of the primary reasons behind my decision to pursue a PhD in Economics at University of Porto in Portugal. That passion was initially sparked by my experience of teaching Principles of economics, Macroeconomics, Costing, and Financial management subjects to undergraduate students at Cosmopoint College in Malaysia for over two years, and by pursuing a Ph.D., I hope to eventually become a professor and teach at a higher level.

Teaching is a noble profession that plays an active role in shaping the future of the next generation and thus of a country in general. Every teacher was once a student and hence can easily understand a student’s expectations of a teacher. In my view, teaching by simply exposing a student to new information is not enough. That would be the equivalent of a student buying a reference book and learning by reading it without third-party guidance to help them achieve maximum understanding of the topic. I strongly believe that teaching is about not only delivering knowledge to students but also teaching them the skills they need to learn successfully and to construct new knowledge themselves. Hence, my teaching philosophy is very much based on a student-centred learning approach, with a specific aim of helping students develop robust analytical skills. Given that, I have organized my teaching philosophy base on the eight main principles: i. Promoting critical thinking, ii. Knowledge development vs skill development, iii. Understanding the learners, iv. Assessing learning, v. Equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Students should not only be exposed to new information but should also learn: 1) how to relate the new information with real life examples and 2) how facts can be interpreted before they are encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions. As such, I believe that teaching is not about my dissemination of knowledge but about how the students, those on the receiving end, can be taught to comprehend that knowledge and to develop the thinking skills that will allow them to use it. Student engagement is key to this process.


In my view, students better understand abstract concepts if they are illustrated with everyday examples. This helps provide a relatable context for abstract concepts. As someone with substantial real-life experience, I can share practical examples of the application of theories so that students appreciate how their newly acquired knowledge can be applied in the workforce. I would occasionally invite experts to share their experiences and talk about the problems they solve in the context of the subject being taught. As this will help students to relate the knowledge to new contexts inside and outside of the classroom.


I would not tell a student that a certain step in a topic is obvious or easy and that they should be able to understand it quickly. Some students’ confidence would be badly affected if they could not work out a concept on their own and they may be too shy to seek my help. In my experience, this pitfall is most common when teaching statistics/econometrics and quantitative research methodology subjects and is rooted in a teacher’s familiarity with a topic and a lack of recognition that students are coming to the class with less experience and knowledge of the topic. I go the extra mile to teach each step thoroughly and discretely so the continuity of a lecture is maintained and students continue to build on what they learn at each point.


Active dialogue sessions involving questions and answers during my lectures are key, as this allows me to assess the students’ understanding of a topic and their ability to handle similar problems with similar or more challenging levels of complexity. I have focused on both formative and summative assessment plan when assessing the learning of the students in my class. With the significant involvement of student participation, remedial actions can then be taken, such as revisiting some topics or reviewing key concepts that may have been challenging for the students.


Issues of diversity and inequality are profoundly important to me, both personally and professionally. I grew up as a minority in my country of birth, which does not have any minority-based legislation in place, and so I have direct experience of being disadvantaged in a system where all the policies and support mechanisms are geared toward helping only the majority of the population. I am a firm believer that everyone is equal and should be given equal opportunities in all sectors, including academia. All my engagement with students, whether in teaching or research, would be inclusive and bias-free, thus respecting and upholding the diversity for which Canada is renowned.



  • Ph.D. (Distinction), Economics, University of Porto, Portugal, 2015
  • MBA (Hons), Finance, Multimedia University, Malaysia, 2005
  • BBA (Hons), Business Administration, University Putra Malaysia, 2003
Professional Memberships

Professional Memberships

  • Research Ethich Borad, Adler University, Canada. Member (2020 – Present)
  • Global Labour Organizations, Germany. Research Fellow (2017 – Present)
  • STAR Institute, Canada, Research Associates (2017 – 2020)


  • Adler Seed Grant Initiative, Adler University, 2023
Select Publications

Select Publications

  • Nagarajan, R and Sixsmith, A., (2021) “Policy initiatives to address the challenges of an older population in the workforce”, Ageing International.
  • Nagarajan, R., Teixeira, A.A.C. and Silva, S.T. (2020), “Ageing population: Identifying the determinants of ageing in the least developed countries”, Population Research and Policy Review. DOI: 10.1007/s11113-020-09571-1
  • Nagarajan, R, Wada, M., Fang, M.L. and Sixsmith, A. (2019) “Defining organizational contributions to sustaining an ageing workforce: A bibliometric review”, European Journal of Ageing”, DOI: 10.1007/s10433-019-00499-w.
  • Nagarajan, R.; Teixeira, A.A.C. and Silva, S.T. (2017), “An empirical analysis of the demographic trends in least developed countries”, Ageing International, DOI: 10.1007/s12126-017-9283-9.
  • Teixeira, A. A.C.; Nagarajan, R. and Silva, S.T. (2017), “The impact of ageing and the speed of ageing on the economic growth of Least Developed, Emerging and Developed countries, 1990 – 2013”, Review of Development Economics.
  • Nagarajan, R., Teixeira, A.A.C. and Silva, S.T. (2015), “The impact of population ageing on economic growth: a survey”, The Singapore Economic Review, DOI: 10.1142/S021759081550068X, World Scientific.
  • Nagarajan, R., Teixeira, A.A.C. and Silva, S.T. (2016), “The impact of an ageing population on economic growth: an exploratory review of the main mechanisms”, Análise Social, 51: 4-35.
Select Presentations

Select Presentations

  • Nagarajan N. R. (2022) The influence of developed countries’ policies on the population aging in developing and least developed countries [Speaker]. 4th World Aging and Rejuvenation Conference (ARC-2022)
  • Nagarajan, R and Sixsmith, A. (2020) “The implications of the aging population on the workforce: How much can G7 policies lessen the effects of aging populations?” 10th International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) Regional Congress of the Americas (Shortlisted for the best paper award).
  • Nagarajan, R and Sixsmith, A. (2019) “The rise of the silver economy and the role of the older workers. An empirical study of 18 OECD countries” 9th IAGG-ER conference,
  • Nagarajan, R, Wada, M., Fang, M.L. and Sixsmith, A. (2018) “Defining the contribution of relevant mechanisms to the ageing workforce: A Bibliometric Survey”, CAG2018: Making It Matter: Mobilizing Aging Research, Practice & Policy, the 47th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology.
  • Nagarajan, R., and Ramos, P. (2016), “The impact of ageing on manufacturing”, Proceedings of 14th International Conference on Manufacturing Research, Loughborough, UK.
  • Nagarajan, R., Teixeira, A.A.C. and Silva, S.T. (2013), “The impact of ageing population on economic growth: a bibliometric analysis”, Proceedings of 3rd International Workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing, Lisbon, Portugal.

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