Pre-budget 2019 submission: Investing in talent

August 1, 2018
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Two female researchers working with a laptop and a cell phone in a lab.

Building a prosperous, competitive and inclusive future means mobilizing the talent and skills of all Canadians. Canada’s universities are well-positioned to help make this happen. Universities Canada’s Budget 2019 Finance Committee submission recommends investment in two areas pivotal to Canada’s competitiveness:

  • Student-oriented and future skills supports; and
  • State-of-the-art research and training environments.

Recommendation 1

Invest in hands-on learning by:

  • expanding federal work-integrated learning programs across sectors and disciplines with particular attention to underrepresented groups;
  • increasing work-integrated learning funding to support employers offering meaningful work-integrated learning placements, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and companies new to work-integrated learning;
  • leveraging existing federal programs and initiatives to reward companies participating in work-integrated learning;
  • increasing public sector work-integrated learning placements; and
  • renewing and enhancing the Canada Incubator and Accelerator Program to support applied student learning and entrepreneurship.

Recommendation 2

Invest in Indigenous postsecondary education access and success by:

  • increasing direct financial support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis learners;
  • supporting universities to enhance institutional programs and enable partnerships that promote Indigenous student success throughout the postsecondary continuum; and
  • expanding funding to Indspire to scale support for Indigenous learners across Canada through scholarships, bursaries and education programs.

Recommendation 3

Building on the Fundamental Science Review, invest in highly skilled research talent by:

  • providing more individual scholarships and fellowships to at least match the rise in graduate student enrolment over the last decade;
  • adjusting the value of all awards and harmonizing award value across the granting councils;
  • eliminating restrictions on international portability of awards to Canadians; and
  • growing the pipeline of graduate students by expanding the Undergraduate Student Research Awards to other councils.

Recommendation 4

Invest in a new national initiative, Go Global Canada, to support 15,000 Canadian postsecondary students per year going abroad within five years, rising to 30,000 per year within 10 years.

Recommendation 5

Support state-of-the-art research and training by providing significant, multi-year increases to the Research Support Fund, building on the Fundamental Science Review recommendations.

Tagged:  Co-ops and internships, Indigenous education, Research and innovation, Study abroad

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