Algonquin College reacts to 2016-17 Federal Budget

OTTAWA, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - The federal government's planned investments in jobs for young people, infrastructure, health, and applied research is good news for the Algonquin College community and good news for Eastern Ontario.

"I applaud the federal government for their efforts to make postsecondary education more affordable, and for the strategic investments that will unlock the potential in our students, faculty and applied research activities," said Cheryl Jensen, President, Algonquin College. "Investments in infrastructure and postsecondary research are really an investment in our learners, and through education they will prosper and develop the skills they need for today's innovation economy."

The federal budget, released today, announced $2 billion over three years, starting in 2016-17, for a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. This funding will help postsecondary institutions modernize on-campus research, commercialization and training facilities. Colleges will be better equipped to create world-class programs and conduct the research our entrepreneurial start-ups need to grow and prosper.

An additional $95 million per year to the granting councils (Canada Institute for Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Research Support Fund) will further support the applied research at colleges.

Colleges have long been leaders in providing real-world education and training and connecting our students to opportunities with local employers. The announced a Post-Secondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative will ensure more students have access to experiential learning opportunities that will help them get the job they want.

Reforms to the Canada Student Loans program will make the financial aid system simpler and help more low- and middle-income families.

Algonquin College is especially pleased the budget is committing $800 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, to support innovation networks and clusters. These networks are what ensures our post-secondary programs and applied research are connected to the latest innovations through partnerships that benefit our students, engages industry and leads to positive economic outcomes for our region. Located next door to Canada's largest technology and research park in Kanata, Algonquin College is well poised to leverage these new supports into strategic partnerships.

"The government's Innovation Agenda, in particular, is perfectly timed to spur economic growth," added Jensen. "We look forward to playing our part in building Canada as a centre for global innovation."

"Additionally, the emphasis on data – through the reinstatement of the long-form census, open government initiatives, and enhanced labour market information – is very helpful to our institution as we plan for the needs of our communities."

About Algonquin Collegewww.algonquincollege.com:

The mission of Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology is to transform hopes and dreams into skills and knowledge, leading to lifelong career success. Algonquin College, a public sector polytechnic institute, does this by offering hands-on, digitally connected applied learning in over 185 programs. Based in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, Algonquin College is the largest polytechnic institute in Eastern Ontario.

 

SOURCE Algonquin College

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Phil Gaudreau, Public Relations and Communication, phil.gaudreau@algonquincollege.com, 613-727-4723 ext. 2091

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