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Post-Secondary Education and Research

CAUT Policy Statement

1.    Post-secondary education and research are in themselves public goods — a well educated and informed citizenry is fundamental to a socially viable society. Through the preservation, discovery, application and dissemination of knowledge, universities and colleges also contribute both directly and indirectly to the long term and the short term social, cultural, and economic development of communities and regions across Canada and provide a diverse range of both long term and short term social, cultural, and economic benefits.

2.    In the light of the above, funding and program decisions should be based (i) on consideration of wider academic values integral to the successful and effective functioning of post-secondary institutions and (ii) on consideration of the wider social values integral to the good of society at large.

3.    CAUT recognizes the important economic contributions that universities and colleges make, but believes that economic and commercial considerations should not drive government policy and institutional decision-making. Federal, provincial and territorial governments have a responsibility to ensure that post-secondary institutions have adequate public funding to fulfill their broad public mission. Research funding decisions should be decided based on the scientific and academic merit of a project as determined by the scholarly community.

4.    Institutional leaders have a responsibility to protect and promote a free scholarly environment where unfettered research, academic freedom and open debate can lead to the development and dissemination of a broad range of knowledge and the well educated citizenry of the future.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2001.
Amended by CAUT Executive, June 2009.
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2009.