Budget investments in university research a "strategic choice," says AUCC

OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada welcomes the government's strategic choice to invest in university research as announced today in Budget 2010.

"Given Canada's fiscal outlook, we are pleased that the government is continuing to invest in university research and innovation to create jobs today and to build the economy of tomorrow," says Michel Belley, chair of the AUCC Board of Directors and rector of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

The $32 million annual investment in the three major granting councils will help universities to pursue the kinds of research that will drive innovation and produce the highly skilled workers that all sectors of the economy need. The budget also provided $8 million for the Indirect Costs Program.

"This budget sends an important signal," says Paul Davidson, AUCC president and CEO. "It shows that the government recognizes the vital role universities play in creating opportunities for Canadians in the new economy."

Economic stimulus efforts such as the Knowledge Infrastructure Program are helping Canada to emerge from this recession and to accelerate economic growth. This program is making a difference on campuses across Canada and paying dividends. As the program enters its second year, Canadian universities and research partners will leverage these new and renovated facilities to generate cutting-edge discoveries.

The new investments in post-doctoral fellows will build on the stimulus provided by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and the research funding announced today. The fellowship program, funded at $45 million over five years, will be internationally competitive and will help attract and keep talented recent PhD graduates in Canada. Their skills and knowledge will help drive innovative research and discoveries in universities, industry and other knowledge sectors.

Canada's universities will continue to work in partnership with governments and stakeholders to recruit more international students and improve access and success for Canada's Aboriginal youth.

AUCC is the voice of Canada's universities. It represents 95 Canadian public and private, not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges.

SOURCE Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

For further information: For further information: Lyse Huot, Director, Government Relations and Communications, (613) 563-3961 ext. 229, Cell. (613) 884-8401, lhuot@aucc.ca

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