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Build 2000

Trent University Praises New Federal Investments in Financial Aid, Research and Cluster Development


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Trent University welcomed the federal government's economic update announcing new investments in student aid and research that will increase students' access to a postsecondary education and provide additional support for university-based research.

The announcements were made as part of The Honourable Ralph Goodale's economic and fiscal update titled, "A Plan for Growth and Prosperity."

Trent President Bonnie Patterson said, "These investments will help to provide universities and students with the resources needed to keep Canada competitive in today's global knowledge-economy."

Patterson added, "The government is to be commended for committing $2.2 billion over five years in student financial assistance to improve access to postsecondary education for students from families that are from lower and middle income groups." The student aid package includes $550 million over five years to extend Canada Access Grants to 55,000 students from low income families in all years of undergraduate education.

As a university recognized nationally for its research performance, Trent researchers stand to benefit from a new investment of $1.2 billion over five years for the Indirect Cost of research program. The program will result in the funding of 40 per cent of universities' direct costs for research grants received from federal research granting agencies.

More than $2.1 billion in new funding will be invested to sustain Canada's leadership in university-based research and over $500 million will be invested the next five years in internships and scholarships for natural and health sciences and engineering graduates. "The government has indicated that a portion of these funds will also be used to support knowledge-based clusters. This could be a great opportunity for the Peterborough Region's DNA Cluster initiative, which has a wide base of community support," said President Patterson.

Additional announcements applicable to the university sector include:

  • $110 million per year to extend the Canada Access Grant to cover up to four years of undergraduate study for eligible students beginning in 2006-07.
  • $210 million over the next five years to improve assistance for graduate students, including a 50 per cent increase in the number of Canada Graduate Scholarships.
  • $150 million over five years to improve access to international education opportunities for Canadian students to study aboard, for qualified international students to study in Canada and for institutions to participate in international networks to promote the two-way flow of students.
  • $1 billion to the provinces and territories in a trust fund to invest in Canada's postsecondary infrastructure and to help modernize and improve facilities.
  • An $85 million increase to the granting agencies' budgets: $35 million each for CIHR and NSERC, and $15 million for SSHRC.
  • $500 million in 2005-06 to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to sustain its activities over the next five years.
  • $21 million over the next five years to enable masters students in engineering and the natural and health sciences to acquire research experience in the private sector as well as $18 million to SSHRC over the next five years to help masters graduates in engineering and the natural and health sciences to pursue MBA studies at Canadian institutions.
  • $160 million over the next five years to support the creation of large-scale integrated facilities that bring together university and private sector researchers and accelerate the commercialization of university-based discoveries.
  • A restatement of the government's commitment from the International Policy Statement to devote at least five per cent of federal research and development spending to the research priorities of developing countries.

President Patterson noted that given that the funds in the economic statement are targeted for very specific purposes, the University continues to face some financial pressures. "If these funding proposals, which are targeted at very specific spending envelopes, come to fruition in the next budget, they can help to address various financial pressures on the University's operating budget."

In the recently released Maclean's university rankings for 2005, Trent University ranked number one among primarily undergraduate universities for scholarships and bursaries as a percentage of its overall budget. In October, Trent was ranked number one research university of the year for the third consecutive year in a study by Research Infosource published in the National Post.

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For more information contact:
Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224


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Last Updated November 15, 2005