Ottawa, July 12, 2017 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) released an open letter yesterday to all members of parliament and senators, urging them to ensure that the funding for new work‑integrated learning opportunities announced in Budget 2017 is accessible to all post-secondary students in their community.
With its focus on skills and innovation, the 2017 federal budget was warmly welcomed by Canada’s colleges and institutes, as was the promise of more work-integrated learning placements through Mitacs, a non-profit organization offering research internships that connect students with industry.
Until now, Mitacs internships have been open only to university graduate students but the wording used in Budget 2017 signaled a welcome policy shift by clearly referring to all post-secondary students and graduates. However, there now seems to be some uncertainty about that shift and questions as to whether students and graduates from colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics will be eligible for the program.
“It is absolutely essential that eligibility for Mitacs internships be expanded to include college and institute students and graduates”, says CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “This is not only to ensure that all post-secondary students have an opportunity to access these valuable learning experiences, but also to meet the needs of business and employers who state clearly that they want to work with the skilled technicians, technologists, designers and developers trained at colleges and institutes.”
CICan, in collaboration with Polytechnics Canada, is engaged in active discussions with federal officials and Mitacs about how to implement the 2017 Budget commitment in a manner that is both equitable for students and responsive to the needs of business. Members of the two associations, which include over 125 post-secondary institutions located in every province and territory, will be reaching out to their local MPs and senators over the summer. They will drive home the importance of implementing the Budget measures in a way that fully responds to the needs of students, graduates and employers in their region and takes full advantage of the potential to strengthen the economy in ways that benefit Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
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About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader on applied education and innovation with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members contribute to inclusive economic growth by working in close collaboration with industry and community partners. They offer more than 8000 programs at campuses serving urban, rural, remote, and northern communities in every province and territory.
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Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan