Thank you, Madam Chair.
Good afternoon. I'd like to start by thanking members on behalf of Dr. Barnard, president of the University of Manitoba, for your kind invitation to appear before the committee. He sends his regrets for not being able to personally join us here today.
First I will provide some context. The University of Manitoba was established in 1877 as western Canada's first university. The university serves 28,000 students, making it the largest university in Manitoba. As one of Canada's leading research-intensive universities, it is a member of the U15 and is ranked 12th out of the top 50 research-intensive universities across our country.
The University of Manitoba feels a sustained foundation for Canada's economic recovery and growth stems from three primary areas in which the federal government should continue its investments. Those three areas are investments in research, investments in international education, and investments in aboriginal higher education.
The university believes that the government should continue its investments in research particularly by enhancing the core funding for the three granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, CFI. Tri-Council support is the essential pillar supporting research activity across our country. Funding from CFI provides a world-class infrastructure that allows our researchers to collaborate with industry and research partners around the world. Research funding, together with support for graduate students, creates the opportunities and the skill sets that grow the economy and improve Canada's productivity over the long run.
The University of Manitoba is a leader in fostering research partnerships with the private sector. Over the past decade, the university has garnered eight NSERC synergy awards for innovation that recognize outstanding university-industry collaboration. In accordance with the federal science and technology strategy and the findings of the Jenkins report, the university encourages further investments in partnership programs like those administered through the granting councils that foster research partnerships between SMEs and universities.
The second point I'd like to make today is that investing in international education is critical for the economic growth of Canada. The university provides post-secondary education to over 3,000—