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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.