Federal budget invests in university research, students

OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - New investments in research and students announced in today's federal budget will make Canada more innovative and prosperous, say the country's universities.

The federal government's funding of $1.33 billion over six years to the Canada Foundation for Innovation ensures that Canada's globally competitive international research platform will continue to be a world leader for discovery. Today's investments will help build leading-edge research infrastructure to support top talent – faculty and students at universities across the country.

"Funding for research delivers long-term benefits to Canada's society and our economy," says David Barnard, chair of the 97-member strong Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and president of the University of Manitoba. "Investments in the Canada Foundation for Innovation will keep more top Canadian researchers here, attract world-leading international talent, train the next generation of discoverers and innovators, and enable us to pursue promising new areas of research – where Canada can lead."

Additional investments in research granting councils in 2016-17 are also welcome. Together with new investments in CANARIE, TRIUMF and previously announced funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, this illustrates how the government of Canada invests across the higher education, research and innovation spectrum.

"Today's investments in research and innovation will help solve human challenges, boost creativity and innovation and make Canada's economy more competitive," Dr. Barnard says.

Today's federal budget contains significant investments in the next generation of researchers and innovators, adds Paul Davidson, president of AUCC. Funding of $56.4 million for Mitacs' Accelerate program will support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, allowing them to apply their specialized expertise and knowledge to business-related challenges. "By expanding experiential learning opportunities, more employers will benefit from the extraordinary talent of young Canadians," Mr. Davidson says.

Aboriginal students will also gain greater access and support for postsecondary education through $12 million for Indspire, an Indigenous-led organization that delivers postsecondary scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit students.

Postsecondary students and their families will benefit from important changes to Canada's student loans program, which will boost young people's ability to complete a postsecondary education – an important advantage in today's knowledge-intensive world.

"The university community welcomes these important and far-reaching investments in research, higher education and innovation," says Dr. Barnard. "They will benefit Canada and Canadians now and for years to come."


SOURCE Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Helen Murphy, Assistant director of communications, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, hmurphy@aucc.ca, 613 563-3961 ext. 238 or cell: 613 608-8749; Nadine Robitaille, Communications officer, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, nrobitaille@aucc.ca, 613 563-3961 ext. 306 or cell: 613 884-8401


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