U of S president pleased with support for education, research in federal budget

University of Saskatchewan President Ilene Busch-Vishniac is pleased the federal government's 2014 budget strengthens support for education and research.

"The establishment of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund is a significant investment in ensuring that Canada, and its universities, remain at the forefront of discovery and innovation," said Busch-Vishniac. "As one of Canada's leading research-intensive institutions, the University of Saskatchewan has been part of the effort to encourage this kind of strategic investment from the federal government."

The budget, delivered Feb. 11, included a new competitive research fund that supplements research support from the federal granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will invest $1.5 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2015-16 to advance economic growth and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

"For the U of S, the kind of support the federal government has shown in its budget will help us attract and retain top national and international talent, people who can build on our signature areas and institutional priorities," said Busch-Vishniac.

Included in the 2014 budget is an additional $37 million a year for advanced research and $9 million for indirect costs through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"By increasing support of discovery research and indirect costs, and increasing funding for Canada's research granting councils, the federal government has once again shown how important university research is to Canada," said Karen Chad, vice-president of research at the U of S. "We applaud this ongoing commitment."

Chad added that the federal government's investments in Mitacs, a not-for-profit agency that supports internships and fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, will help ensure young researchers have the skills and experience needed for the labour force.

The 2014 budget also includes an investment of $1.25 billion to support a new agreement with the Assembly of First Nations to overhaul Aboriginal education at the K-12 level. Busch-Vishniac and Vice-President Advancement and Community Engagement Heather Magotiaux represented the U of S at the Feb. 7 announcement of the agreement in Stand Off, Alta.

"Aboriginal achievement and engagement is a key focus of our university," said Busch-Vishniac, "and a substantially improved K-12 system will help many more students achieve their academic goals."


For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Thoma

Media Relations Specialist

University of Saskatchewan


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