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Quebec universities call on federal political parties to support investment in the university sector

October 1, 2008

From a news release dated Sept. 29/08:

MONTREAL, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ – The Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ) is calling on the leaders of the federal political parties to make concrete commitments to increase investment in higher education as part of their current election campaign promises.…

“Under funding institutional research costs hamstrings university research productivity,” says CREPUQ president Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice chancellor of McGill University. “Insufficient funding of indirect research costs not only hinders research, but it also makes research and teaching compete for funding, when the two functions are complementary and mutually supportive. It is crucial that our federal government finance the real institutional costs of university research if Quebec universities are to maintain their current levels of research excellence,” Munroe-Blum says.

The release goes on to call for increased budgets for the subsidizing councils and increased transfer payments for post secondary education:

A study by the Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada (AUCC) shows that in 2006-2007 publicly-funded US universities and colleges received $8,000 Cdn per student more than their Canadian counterparts. As the AUCC pointed out: “That advantage contributes to their ability to enhance the quality of the learning environment, in turn contributing to a more productive workforce. The UK and Australia have begun to close per-student funding gaps with their American counterparts by increasing their investments in higher education and creating more sustainable funding mechanisms. Canadian governments will similarly need to take action over time to address the per-student funding gap with the US in order to create the kind of workforce Canada will require to drive economic growth and prosperity into the future.”

[Read the whole text.]

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