Taking NotesTaking Notes: Eye on Education – Federal Grant Money For Education

This column focuses on a wide range of issues affecting post-secondary students. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about. If suggest a topic or a course alert for taking notes, contact voice@ausu.org, attn: Debbie Jabbour

FEDERAL GRANT MONEY FOR EDUCATION

Good news out of Ottawa for students this week, as the government announced increases in study grants and investments in post-secondary institutions. The Liberal government has promised to invest $7.6 billion in post-secondary education over the next five years. As well, there is an increase in financial aid to low-income families, including grants of up to $3,000 available for up to four years of undergraduate study (currently only available for first year students).

Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach calls this move a way to “instil a culture of lifelong learning in this country” and a way to increase access to post-secondary programs. Post-secondary institutions will also receive $1 billion in 2005-2006 to invest in urgent needs, such as libraries, new technology, improved access for individuals with disabilities, and improvements in aboriginal institutions. The money will be distributed through the provinces and territories on a per capita basis. Although the Canadian Federation of Students calls this a “step in the right direction,” they note that rising tuition and student debt are out of control, a situation that will continue to undermine grant money. The federal government states that tuition is a provincial matter and something they will not take leadership on.

Reference
Weeks, C. (2005, November 15). 7.6B to post-secondary education: $110M a year for grants to students from low-income families. Edmonton Journal, A3.

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