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Statement from Principal Woolf on federal budget

Government of Canada releases 2019 budget, which includes investment in work-integrated learning, internationalization.

Following Budget 2018’s investment in research and innovation, Budget 2019 is a welcome investment in skills training and talent development, which will help prepare Canadians for the jobs of the future.

Investments of note for the post-secondary sector include $114 million over five years, with $26.5 million per year ongoing, to create 500 more master’s level scholarship and 167 more three-year doctoral scholarship awards annually through the Canada Graduate Scholarship program. The budget also invests $147.9 million over five years, with $8 million per year ongoing to support the creation of new work/study abroad opportunities for Canadian students abroad, as well as to promote Canadian education internationally.

Also included in Budget 2019 were:

  • An expansion of parental leave coverage for students and postdoctoral fellows receiving tri-council funding from six to 12 months.
  • $25 million over 10 years to support the work of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, headquartered here at Queen’s.
  • Reduction of both the fixed and floating interest rates for Canada Student Loans Program borrowers, and ending interest accumulation during the six-month grace period.
  • The creation of the Canada Training Benefit and Employment Insurance Training Support Benefit, to assist Canadians in re-skilling for the jobs of the future.
  • Expansion of work-integrated learning through direct investment, as well as partnerships with innovative businesses and the Business Higher Education Roundtable, to create 84,000 new student work placements across Canada by 2023–24, and reach 100 per cent attainment for WIL opportunities for interested students.

Queen’s plays a critical role in supporting economic prosperity by preparing graduates with the job-ready skills they need to compete and thrive in a changing labour market. We welcome the opportunity to engage with government on the development of targeted skills programming, and on the creation of new work-integrated learning opportunities. I look forward to hearing further details on the implementation of these and other Budget initiatives.

Queen’s will continue to encourage the government make further investments in fundamental research, recognizing both the basic scientific discoveries and applied skills training opportunities that university-generated research provides.

– Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor