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U of T congratulates federal government on budget

The University of Toronto congratulates the Government of Canada on the tabling of a budget that added important new support to post-secondary students.

“The Federal Government’s creation of 1000 new graduate scholarships is very good news,” noted David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto. “This is a significant boost to those students who seek to pursue excellence through advanced study. Giving students the choice to pursue graduate work at the institution of their choice is a sound strategy.”

The University also noted that the Federal Government’s additional support to students through its changes to Registered Education Savings Plans, by eliminating the $4,000 limit on annual contributions, increasing the lifetime RESP contribution limit from $42,000 to $50,000, and increasing the maximum Canada Education Savings Grant annual amount from $400 to $500.

In another step designed to support higher education, the Federal Government also initiated a new Post-Secondary Education transfer, with not less than $800 million of new base support for PSE to be transferred to provinces. Professor Naylor noted that the impact on the University’s core education mission could be very positive if these funds flowed through to institutions, but he also cautioned that the details of the allocations of the transfer would need to be hammered out through federal-provincial negotiations.

Professor Naylor commented that the Federal Government is now starting to work through its approach to what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has termed Canada’s Research Advantage. “They’ve taken one very firm step in offering continued support for the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. That’s encouraging. Other investments seem to be designed to start the ball rolling in the direction of a new science and technology policy, and we look forward to working with the Government on the framework for future funding decisions.”

Dr. Tim McTiernan, Assistant Vice President of Research and Director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization at U of T, added that the new fund in support for “commercialization centres of excellence was very welcome.” Dr McTiernan pointed out that both MaRS, a convergence centre linking research innovation with new business applications, and the emerging commercialization consortium involving U of T and its affiliated teaching hospitals would be strong candidates for early funding from this new fund.

 




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