As sent to member associations by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), 25 March 2013:
For post-secondary education and research, Budget 2013 is another disappointment. While there were no cuts to cash transfers to the provinces in support of education, the planned 3 per cent increase remains far too little to offset inflation and enrolment increases. Given the cuts to post-secondary education at the provincial level, the federal government should have done more. Most of the provinces have far less fiscal room available to adequately fund health care, social services and post-secondary education. [….]
As with last year’s Budget, the most disturbing aspect for the post-secondary sector is in research. Despite offsetting some of the cuts to the granting agencies from last year, there is no net increase in funding and the government continues to ignore basic research in favour of a very narrow focus on commercialization and targeted funding. (p. 1)
Budget 2013 provides no new measures to assist students struggling with high debt loads and rising fees. There is no new money for post-secondary education through the Canada Social Transfer (CST) other than already builtin increases. The cash value of the CST will rise by 3 per cent next year, from roughly $11.9 billion last year to $12.2 billion in the coming fiscal year. Of the latter amount, 25 per cent will be nominally available for postsecondary education.
Rather than badly needed investments in core university and college funding, the Budget instead earmarks new money for marketing and recruitment initiatives. $23 million over two years will be provided to support an International Education Strategy. This includes $10 million over two years to support overseas marketing campaigns, and $13 million over two years for the MITACS Globallink program that funds research internships for Canadian graduate students abroad and foreign graduate students in Canada. (p. 3)