Praise For Federal Budget
By Communications Staff
February 25, 2005
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has thrown
support behind the federal budget unveiled this week.
"Universities are pleased (the) budget recognizes the need for increased funding for federal granting councils and for the indirect costs of research." says Claire Morris, president of the 92-member AUCC.
Still, further investments will be needed to ensure universities continue to be strong contributors to Canada's productivity and quality of life, says AUCC.
The budget promised $375 million for the three major research granting agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
It also promised to increase support for indirect costs of research, which include the operation of university equipment and research labs, technology transfer and commercialization services, and ensuring compliance with regulations in areas such as ethics and environmental protection.
AUCC registered some concerns with the additional $15 million annually for indirect costs, arguing the increase is welcome but the impact "will in fact see the average rate of indirect costs funding received by universities drop."
Other key measures with an impact on universities included:
- $165 milion to cover operations over the next three years of Genome Canada in funding basic research in universities and research hospitals;
- Tri-University Meson Facility or TRIUMF, a nuclear and particle physics research lab at the University of British Columbia managed as a joint venture by a dozen Canadian universities, received $126 million over five years.
- Canadian Academies of Science, a new organization that brings together experts to assess the state of knowledge in key areas, received $30 million for the next decade
- measures to bring higher education to more Aboriginal Canadians by providing postsecondary scholarships through the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.
"Across the country, Canadians tell us that they understand the real and lasting value of the research and education that universities provide," says Morris.
"Our future as a country depends on ensuring that we have strong universities providing high-quality education and conducting world-class research."
The AUCC represents 92 Canadian public and private not-for profit universities and university-degree level colleges.
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