Those are some of the outcomes CAGS hopes will be the result of recommendations made by president Dr. Brenda Brouwer to the Standing Committee on Finance at the House of Commons on September 28.
At the pre-budget hearing, CAGS echoed the research, funding and partnerships recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review chaired by David Naylor and Nobel Laureate Dr. Art McDonald. These included a $485 million increase over four years to support research and innovation, since current funding has not kept up with either inflation or the growing demand for high-impact discoveries in the academic world.
CAGS also voiced support for Tri-Council collaboration to promote and support Indigenous research, researchers and communities. In addition, they strongly advocated for new investment in the Canadian Graduate Scholarships program to increase both the number of awards and their value. Despite a 30 per cent increase in graduate enrollments, the number of available scholarships has remained the same since 2007, while their value has been unchanged since 2003.
In addition to urging an expansion of eligibility criteria to include both international and disadvantaged students, CAGS also asked for new funding to assist Canadian graduate students to research and study abroad.
During the question period, Dr. Brouwer was asked by Mr. Greg Fergus, M.P., Hull-Aylmer, to elaborate on the issue of international mobility for graduate students.
It is CAGS’ position that although there is tremendous value in facilitating international experiences for Canadian graduate students, they are rarely able to access these opportunities due to limited funding.
Further investment to allow them these experiences is especially critical for the future of research, the full mobilization of our talent pool, and the ability of Canada to both achieve economic prosperity and compete on global platforms.
The value of a graduate education extends far beyond increased earning power. It lies in the intellectual capacity, critical and analytical thinking, and hands-on research capability that are developed along the way. CAGS will continue to advocate for Canada to do better in supporting our raw talent, leveraging their discoveries, and enabling them to effect positive change from which we all stand to benefit.