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CAUT Bulletin Archives

September 2009

CAUT Budget Brief

Increase Outlay for Research & Improve Accessibility

CAUT is calling on the federal government’s 2010 budget to increase funding for the three granting councils and for better accessibility to post-secondary education.

In its submission ahead of the Finance Committee’s pre-budget consultations, CAUT called for an investment of $1 billion over the next two years for the three granting councils to support untargeted, peer-reviewed basic research.

“The government’s mandated ‘strategic review’ of the granting councils led to nearly $148 million in funding cuts for basic research, and we can’t overstate the devastating impact this is having,” said CAUT president Penni Stewart. “The contrast between what’s happened here and what’s happened in the U.S. is stark, and as a result, we have lost and will continue to lose top researchers unless the federal government gets it right in the next budget.”

Also included in CAUT’s brief is a call for the government to increase the cash transfers for post-secondary education by $400 million in the next budget, and over the next three years to raise and maintain the transfer at 0.5 per cent of GDP.

In light of the current economic situation, CAUT also stressed the need for an expansion of the Cana­da Student Grant Program to provide additional assistance for students from low-income families and the provision of full financial assistance for all qualified Aboriginal students.

“Many students are struggling just to survive and afford their education,” Stewart said. “Tuition fees are at an all time high because of chronic underfunding of uni­versities and colleges. Need based grants and scholarships are being cut and students are increasingly forced to rely on student loans to finance their education. Accessible, affordable education continues to be a significant problem compounded by record levels of student unemployment, skyrocketing student debt, and inadequate student assistance at a time when Canadians want more educational opportu­nities for themselves and their children.”

CAUT continues to call for a Post-Secondary Education Act that outlines clear responsibilities and expectations for the federal and provincial/territorial governments, establishes pan-Canadian guidelines and principles, enacts enforcement mechanisms and determines long-term and stable funding formulae.