McGill welcomes federal government support for postsecondary education
Principal comments on the new measures taken by the federal government to support higher education.
McGill Principal Bernard Shapiro is pleased with the Liberal governments initiatives dealing with university research, student aid and charitable giving announced yesterday. "We are quick to criticize when we feel the government is on the wrong track, so we should be equally quick to praise when we see positive support for higher education," notes the Principal. He adds:
On student aid
"The steps taken to help students are a start, especially the decision to extend the loan-repayment grace period after graduation to three years, which will help McGill students from outside Quebec. We also welcome the tax measures, which should ease somewhat the burden for all student taxpayers and their families. The issue of debt load is a very sensitive one, and the governments willingness to discuss the issue is a good sign. I want to point that McGill University is planning to double its student aid program, from approximately $3 million to $6 million, taking money for the first time from its operating budget."
"The fact that research as part of post-secondary education has captured the federal governments attention is an exciting development. Our society must recognize that research is critical to our economy and to our quality of life in both the short and the long term. It is our common future that is at stake -- not simply the survival of research-intensive universities -- and we hope the new program will not only be an incentive to the private sector but also of interest to the Quebec government."
On charitable giving
"McGill has just finished a $200-million capital campaign, so its going to be a challenge to go out and raise even more money. But Im confident the support is there, we just have to redouble our efforts to obtain the matching grants called for in the new Canada Foundation for Innovation program. And of course we still have the challenge of trying to function with dramatically reduced operating budgets. McGill will succeed because it has to succeed."