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Canadian Budget Pushes Educators And Employers Together

The Canadian federal government released its new budget on Thursday, minimizing cuts to higher education spending and emphasizing the need for linkages between employers, industry and higher education.

The government was expected to reduce its funding for higher education, which is channeled through the provinces, but they have promised to keep their spending unchanged—which means the feds will not be adjusting their funding for inflation.

The government did, however, increase spending on innovation research by $2 billion, with $37 million earmarked to support granting councils’ funding of industry-academic partnerships.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers’ executive director told The Chronicle of Higher Education that he felt the spending reflects the government’s short-term goals.

“With this budget, the government turns away from the kind of research that leads to new discoveries in favor of a narrow and short-term commercial agenda,” Turk said. “By linking research only to business interests, the government will stifle rather than promote growth and scientific advancement.”

The budget also promises $14 million of spending towards a program to help graduate students option work experience through paid internships at private companies.