University of Alberta responds to federal budget

(Edmonton) University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera says today’s federal budget is good news for Canada’s post-secondary institutions, and sends a clear signal that the government is keeping its eye on the strategic goal of building a healthy and globally competitive economy with a strong focus on innovation.

Samarasekera says the budget does three key things for post-secondary by reaffirming the government’s commitment to talent, research and internationalization. “This budget maintains momentum, particularly through an increase in funding to the three granting councils. Secondly, the budget today builds excellence, as demonstrated by an additional 10 Canada Excellence Research Chairs. And with this budget, the government is supporting the goal of reaching the world, of promoting Canada’s international brand so as to both attract the very best students to this country and to send our students abroad for international experience. This is particularly evident in the budget’s allocation of $12 million for a competition to select a Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence.”

Highlights of the budget include:

•  $37 million in new funding per year to support the three federal research granting councils;

•  An additional $10 million per year for the Indirect Costs of Research program;

•  Investing $53.5 million over five years to support the creation of 10 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs;

•  An additional $35 million over five years to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support climate and atmospheric research;

•  $60 million over three years to promote increased student enrolment in key disciplines related to the digital economy;

•  $10 million over two years to develop and implement an international education strategy to help attract world-class talent.