Federal budget: little on offer for post-secondary education

    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Association of University
Teachers (CAUT) says today's budget lacks any coherent vision for
post-secondary education and research.
    CAUT executive director Jim Turk says that aside from the creation of the
Canada Student Grant Program, the budget ignores the most pressing needs of
universities and colleges.
    "The new grant program announced today is a step in the right direction,
but by simply consolidating money from existing programs it means there's no
real new support for students in the current year."
    Turk emphasizes that the government is providing no new money for
post-secondary education through the Canada Social Transfer, funding that
would have allowed universities and colleges to make education more affordable
and ensure that staff and students have access to labs, library resources and
other facilities.
    The budget announces the creation of a small program for 500 Canadian and
international students. Named after Georges Vanier, the Canada Graduate
Scholarships will provide up to $50,000 a year for no more than three years.
    "While we welcome the new program, we can't ignore the fact that there is
otherwise no increase in funding for Canada's hundreds of thousands of
undergraduate students in this budget," Turk says. "The budget fails to deal
with the real problem: the need for more core funding."
    The budget proposes a modest increase in federal funding for the indirect
costs of university research. There are also small increases for the federal
granting agencies, but the new money is heavily targeted to priority areas set
by the government.
    "We appreciate the new research funding, but we're extremely concerned
that the federal government is increasingly targeting research funding rather
than allowing the priorities to be established by the research community,"
Turk says.

    CAUT is the national voice of more than 57,000 academic and general staff
in universities and colleges across the country.

For further information:

For further information: Jim Turk, (613) 277-0488 (cell)

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Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

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