USask welcomes key federal investments in student access and success

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) welcomes initiatives in the 2019 federal budget that support student success, study abroad, and work-integrated and lifelong learning opportunities, and ensure that Indigenous students have better access to post-secondary education.

“This is a budget that supports learning for the 21st century, helping to ensure that students coming out of university will have the skills for a rapidly shifting economy,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff.

The budget commits to help students enter the workforce through 40,000 proposed new work placements per year by 2023-24, and to support the Business/Higher Education Roundtable’s creation of an additional 44,000 work-integrated learning opportunities by 2021.

“We are particularly pleased to see continued funding to support the success of Indigenous students through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program and other measures. This is a fundamental priority for our institution and we are encouraged to see the federal government show strong support in this critical area.”

The global aspirations of the federal budget also align well with USask’s own vision for the future, Stoicheff said. The government plans to invest $147.9 million over five years in its international education strategy, starting in 2019–20, and $8 million per year ongoing.

“As we build towards being the university the world needs, I am particularly pleased with the federal commitment to an international education strategy which encourages students to gain skills through international work/study opportunities so that they can succeed in the global economy,” he said. “To produce engaged global citizens, we need to equip students with global skills and knowledge.”  

To create more access to graduate studies, the budget provides $114 million over five years, with $26.5 million per year for the federal granting councils to create 500 more master’s level scholarship awards annually and 167 more three-year doctoral scholarship awards.  The government also commits to work collaboratively with provincial and territorial partners to improve access to financial supports for graduate students from low-income families.

Stoicheff said the focus of this budget on student learning opportunities, access and success complements last year’s budget which provided significant support for science and research, including the largest ever single-year investment in the research granting councils and regularized funding for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

“The investments in both these budgets strengthen the University of Saskatchewan’s ability to contribute to knowledge and innovation in Saskatchewan, Canada and beyond,” he said.  

USask will continue to assess the impact of budget 2019 and what it means for the university’s discovery mission, students, and faculty.

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