Post-sec­ondary more ac­ces­si­ble, af­ford­able in 2018

The McLeod River Post - - Education Matters - Photo sub­mit­ted to The McLeod River Post

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.

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