OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The federal government's investments in
university research, skills and talent will help to make Canada more
innovative and competitive, says the organization representing Canada's
97 universities across the country.
"One million young people will graduate from Canada's universities by
the year 2017," says Stephen Toope, president of The University of
British Columbia and chair of the Association of Universities and
Colleges of Canada. "They'll be equipped with the knowledge,
experiences and skills Canada will need for decades to come. And
they'll have gained the ability to adapt to the jobs of today - and
"Canada needs more university, college and trades graduates to compete
in the new global knowledge economy," adds Paul Davidson, president of
AUCC. According to a recent CIBC report, most jobs in high demand in
Canada require a university degree, including managers in health,
education, social and community services; human resources and business
service professionals; and supervisors in manufacturing and processing.
The federal government's research investments have made Canada a top
research nation. "Even in difficult fiscal times, the government
recognizes that university research fuels a competitive advantage for
Canada," says Mr. Davidson. "Over successive budgets, the federal
government has increased support for research and innovation in Canada
-investments that nurture talent, create jobs and make us more
Canada's universities also welcomed the importance that today's budget
places on international education initiatives. "Investments in
international education leverage economic benefits of more than $8
billion a year - and they benefit every region of Canada," Mr. Davidson
points out. "Employers tell us they want a versatile international
workforce. Canada benefits - and Canadian students benefit - from a
AUCC is part of an education sector-led consortium that has urged the
government to enhance international education efforts to drive Canada's
global competitiveness, and is ready to work with partners to help
ensure the international education strategy advances.
A new element of the international education efforts announced today is
enhanced funding for Mitacs' Globalink Program, which brings top
undergraduate students from around the world to Canadian universities
to undertake research projects and will now allow Canadian students to
go abroad for research experiences. "This is an opportunity for
Canada's universities to enhance their profile and attract the
brightest international students to our campuses," says Mr. Davidson.
University leaders also welcomed a new scholarship program that will
improve access and achievement for Aboriginal postsecondary students.
The budget provides funding to be matched by the private sector for new
scholarships for Aboriginal students through an initiative of Indspire,
in collaboration with Canada's universities.
"Aboriginal youth is the fastest growing segment of our population, yet
Aboriginal university graduation rates lag far behind those of the
non-Aboriginal population," notes Mr. Davidson. "These measures are a
concrete step towards closing the education gap."
SOURCE: ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES OF CANADA
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