Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Federal budget consultations: making the case for grad students

The federal government is hosting budget consultations, and have a simple online form where citizens can submit their comments.

These consultations are a simple way to let the federal government know what you think of federal funding for graduate study and the role of graduate study in the economy.

Not sure what to say? Check out the following information sources... they spark a lot of ideas about the role of graduate school, and the impact it has on our society.
The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies has this letter to the Federal Government on how to better support graduate studies and Canada's low (2nd last by OECD ranking) investment in graduate education:

  1. Investing in the granting councils
  2. Investing in international grad students in Canada
  3. Invest in innovative skills training for grad students and post docs
  4. Invest in post docs.
The budget consultation is a venue for supporting this ideas.

Perhaps you are interested in your field of research and its role in the economy...

The OECD has all manner of statistics on the impact of education, research and development and how Canada's funding ranks compared to other OECD nations.


OECD study on education funding. (Tertiary education is post secondary education, but doesn't break down between a bachelors, masters and PhD).

The OECD database is searchable on many subjects, so you can search for data on our priorities in science and engineering, health, environment, business, education, and doctoral graduates, depending on your interest.


For example:

In 2011 Canada is below average in OECD for doctoral graduate rates (but is close to average at PhDs awarded to women: 44% of Canadian PhDs - OECD average is 46% -- Canada's rate hasn't changed since 2009, but OECD has gone from 43% to 46% average between 2009 and 2011):


Direct funding of Research and Development (2011 stats) includes this amazing chart, which shows how those R&D dollars are spent - are they going to defence or universities or health?


Here is Canada (2009) vs OECD breakdown (2008) by % of direct Research and Development spending:

  • Defence: Canada 3.2% OECD 31.8%
  • Health & Environment: Canada 22.7% OECD: 17.5%
  • Economic Development: Canada 25.8% OECD 15%
  • General University Funds: Canada 33.3% OECD 16.1%
  • Non-oriented: Canada 7.7% OECD 11.3%
  • Other Canada 7.3% OECD 8.4%

... but remember that Canada spends less than the OECD average (govt appropriations as % of GDP) on research and development:


Spending on R&D as % of GDP (2010): Canada .61% OECD average .75%