Post-secondary more accessible, affordable in 2018
This year, the government improved the post-secondary system by ensuring more Albertans get an affordable education, closer to home. From capping tuition and helping institutions diversify their program offerings in hightech to supporting colleges transitioning to universities, the province continued to improve affordability and accessibility of university and college education.
“Alberta’s universities and colleges are absolutely critical to securing our province’s future. Our government is investing in students so they can reach their full potential and get the education they need for the economy of the future.”
Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education
Highlights of the year include: • Introducing new legislation to grow postsecondary learning spaces by 3,000 seats through a $43-million investment and $7 million for scholarships and learner supports.
• Freezing tuition for a fifth year to save students an average of $2,000 for a four-year degree.
• Legislating future tuition to ensure increases are no more than inflation.
• Bringing post-secondary executive salaries in line with national averages and eliminating perks and bonuses, saving up to $5 million per year.
• Granting Red Deer College and Grande Prairie College approval to begin the transition to become universities, as well as officially granting the Alberta College of Art and Design university status as of Feb. 1, 2019. These changes mean future generations of students will not have to bear the financial costs and stress of moving away from their community to pursue an education.
• Allocating $1.4 billion, including $736 million in Capital Maintenance and Renewal funding, to capital investments for post-secondary institutions over five years to ensure students have safe, modern classrooms and learning facilities.
• Increased the number of student representatives on college and university boards.
Over the next year, Advanced Education will collaborate with post-secondary institutions to execute new legislation and policies while maintaining affordable, high-quality education across the province.
In March 2018, the Government of Alberta gave Red Deer College and Grande Prairie Regional College approval to pursue becoming universities and develop full degrees, allowing more Alberta students to study closer to home.