Post-secondary education is a wise investment
This week’s provincial budget is an opportunity to invest in Manitoba’s future by ensuring the health and vibrancy of our post-secondary education system. With tremendous returns that cascade throughout the provincial economy, post-secondary education is a wise investment that touches all areas of our lives.
No other sector can make as great and diverse a contribution to our collective well-being as the universities and colleges of this province. They are gateways to bigger and better futures for us all.
As the only research-intensive, medical-doctoral university in the province, the University of Manitoba plays an important role as a key economic driver in our city and province. The impact of the work being done by the 8,800 people we employ at the University of Manitoba changes and improves lives across our province and around the world.
Faculty, staff and students at the University of Manitoba share their time and knowledge with the community, whether mentoring and tutoring inner city kids or working with seniors to improve their quality of life by helping them stay active and healthy. Our outreach and knowledge translation touch all ages in nearly every corner of the province.
The impact of the University of Manitoba is powerful. Musicians, writers, directors and visual artists from the university work in and collaborate with every facet of the arts community. There are strong industry ties and collaborative partnerships taking place in the fields of biosciences, food sciences, business, agriculture, engineering and computer science. Public lectures and panel events are attended by the wider community, helping to promote lifelong learning and contributing to an informed citizenry.
Just as importantly, the work happening at the university matters to the everyday lives of Manitobans.
Our researchers are leading the way in many areas. Geoff Hicks and his team in the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology and the Regenerative Medicine Program recently made a ground-breaking discovery in ALS treatment, which charts a new path to hopefully one day finding a cure for this terrible disease. Scientists Dave Barber and Søren Rysgaard are doing cutting edge arctic research advancing the global understanding of climate change. We have some of the world’s leading minds researching better ways to store grain, meaning less waste and more money for producers, and possibly helping to feed the world. New building methods and materials are being researched here to produce cheaper, more durable materials that will reduce costs and improve structural lifespans, especially in our cold winters. The University of Manitoba’s new Transformational Partnerships approach actively supports industry in making innovation leaps through collaborative research and development partnerships, meaning it is easier to get knowledge out of the laboratory and into the marketplace
I am also proud of our responsibility to educate future generations of Manitoba leaders.
More than 29,000 students enroll each year in University of Manitoba programs, and 80 per cent of our graduates stay in Manitoba. A conduit for talent, the University of Manitoba produces graduates who become the workforce of tomorrow, strengthening our economy and ensuring that talent and skills stay in our province.
Our graduates are building bright futures for themselves and for their fellow Manitobans. They start businesses and families; they work and play here—and they give back in turn, investing in Manitoba and in Winnipeg. From medical professionals to engineers and architects, from entrepreneurs and scientists to teachers, writers, musicians and visual artists, the University of Manitoba educates and retains bright minds for our province.
An investment in post-secondary education is an investment in the people and priorities of our province, and we are looking for this week’s provincial budget to make that investment.