Federal budget fails to address chronic imbalance in post-secondary education funding

    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Today's budget fails to adequately
address the chronic imbalance in federal funding for Canada's universities and
colleges, says the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
    "We are profoundly disappointed that the Harper government has provided
no new cash transfers for post-secondary education in the 2007/2008 fiscal
year," said James L. Turk, CAUT's executive director.
    "The increases for subsequent years are over a billion dollars short of
getting us to the levels we were at in 1993, when adjusting for inflation and
population growth," he said.
    The biggest disappointment for CAUT is that the government did not create
a separate transfer for post-secondary education as was widely anticipated.
    "The Canada Social Transfer remains an unconditional block transfer, so
we still have no way of knowing how, where or even if the funds will be spent
as they should be," said Turk.
    Turk noted that the federal government plans to hold consultations with
the provinces to deal with transparency issues and wants these discussions to
ensure that funds are spent on improving quality, affordability and
accessibility in post-secondary education.
    "Today's failure to adequately invest in post-secondary education means
families and students will continue to bear the burden and face even higher
costs and student debt levels," he said.
    Turk said that while CAUT is pleased to see increased research funding,
it is concerned that the federal government is targeting that funding rather
than allowing priorities to be set by the research community.

    CAUT is the national voice of more than 55,000 academic and general staff
in universities and colleges across the country.

For further information:

For further information: James L. Turk, Executive Director, mobile (613)
277-0488; Kerry Pither, CAUT Communications Officer, mobile (613) 294-2203

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Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

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