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CAUT highlights role for federal government in strengthening post-secondary education in advance of the Speech from the Throne

(Ottawa – September 21, 2020)  The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge development of a national pandemic recovery plan that includes strategic investment in Canada’s post-secondary education (PSE) sector.

“This pandemic has demonstrated the unsustainability of the current patchwork approach to PSE policy at all levels. A stronger federal partner is needed,” writes CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith in the letter.

 “Universities and colleges are integral to a strong, stable and resilient Canada, growing the knowledge, innovation and talent needed to solve current and future challenges.  However, the sector is under considerable strain that is negatively affecting jobs, the diversity of educational programs, and accessibility to opportunities.”

In its recent pre-Budget submission, CAUT pointed to the critical need to improve the affordability and sustainability of PSE as part of any recovery plan and made several recommendations, including:

  • Develop a national strategy with the provinces and territories that provides adequate, stable federal funding to support quality post-secondary education.
  • Accelerate research through enhanced investments in the Tri-Councils granting programs and increase graduate student scholarships.
  • Secure opportunities for Canada’s youth & unemployed Canadians by moving to a free tuition model for low and middle-class Canadians at public universities and colleges.