In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced investments to support post-secondary education in Canada:
SEXUAL VIOLENCE ON POST-SECONDARY CAMPUSES
“The Government proposes to provide up to $5.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to Status of Women Canada to work with stakeholders, including provinces and territories, towards developing a harmonized national framework to ensure consistent, comprehensive and sustainable approaches in addressing gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions across the country. Starting in 2019, for those universities and college campuses that are not implementing best practices addressing sexual assaults on campus, the Government of Canada will consider withdrawing federal funding.”
WHY IT MATTERS:
Students are pleased to see funding to address sexual violence on post-secondary campuses; CSA is proud to be working with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and 7 additional Canadian student advocacy groups to provide actionable recommendations through a policy paper.
CSA worked diligently with CCI Research on behalf of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, colleges, private career colleges and universities in Ontario, and other stakeholders, to develop the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey to give post-secondary students the opportunity to provide feedback on the topic of sexual violence on and around their campuses.
SUPPORTING COLLEGES AND POLYTECHNICS
“Colleges and polytechnics are innovation intermediaries that actively collaborate with small and medium-sized businesses in their communities to solve business challenges. The Government proposes to provide $140 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to increase support for collaborative innovation projects involving businesses, colleges and polytechnics through the College and Community Innovation Program.”
WHY IT MATTERS:
Work integrated learning (WIL) opportunities enable students to take part in meaningful work that will help them gain the skills and experience needed to enter the workforce after they graduate.
From 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, over 60% of students who participated in WIL were employed in a related or partially-related field of study compared to over 45 per cent of students who did not.
CSA is happy to have had the opportunity to take part in Ministry roundtables and the Highly-Skilled Work Force Expert Panel discussions throughout 2017 where we advocated for the importance of experiential learning.
The college sector is a leader in the field of WIL, and as an organization, CSA embraces the opportunity to share the college’s strength and the experience of Ontario’s college students with the rest of the sector. CSA advocates for 100% WIL completion.
With a rapidly changing economy and the need for a labour force that can meet those demands, WIL is a direct way to help students prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Students would like to see up-front grants provided to businesses who hire co-op or placement students so they can provide fair wages to those student workers. With the passage of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, workers in Ontario are better compensated and protected, especially in vulnerable work environments. CSA advocates for these protections to extend to students participating WIL programs.
It is not solely the job of the institutions to train students for the jobs of today - it is a partnership between institutions and industry. Collaboration between stakeholders is required to ensure reporting mechanisms for initiatives related to this fund are enhanced to share data like WIL opportunity, delivery, expected outputs, actual outputs, intended outcomes, actual outcomes, and employment rates.
“As a first step toward recognizing the significant and unique challenges faced by Black Canadians, the Government also proposes to provide $19 million over five years that will be targeted to enhance local community supports for youth at risk and to develop research in support of more culturally focused mental health programs in the Black Canadian community.”
WHY IT MATTERS:
In November 2017, CSA, in partnership with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, Colleges Ontario, and the Council of Ontario Universities, produced a report on mental health, In It Together: Taking Action on Student Mental Health, where we outlined 26 recommendations under our three principles: supporting a “whole of community approach,” offering gender and culturally sensitive services, and promoting prevention and harm reduction.
Our report called for a comprehensive strategy to student mental health that draws on a whole of community approach by including government, health-care providers, and community agencies in addressing student mental health.
CSA is pleased the federal government recognizes government plays a key role in providing support to reduce mental health. Along with partnering with community agencies, this type of strategy would draw on the strengths of all those who have the knowledge, skills, and resources to help students meet their potential.
Learn more about Budget 2018: https://www.budget.gc.ca/