After two years of causing upheaval and uncertainty at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions, the UCP government has backed off several initial proposals from its Alberta 2030 initiative that would have hurt students, harmed institutions, and created unnecessary red tape.
Thanks to a concerted effort by students, faculty, and administrators, the Alberta 2030 initiative that purported to re-imagine post-secondary in Alberta is vastly different than originally proposed. This is good news for students who were concerned about major changes in the sector causing chaos, especially as students deal with ever-increasing tuition costs thanks to UCP cuts to post-secondary.
“This is a win for students, in a way. We banded together and told the government that initiatives they were originally proposing like extensive performance-based funding and a centralized post-secondary board would be harmful to students and institutions. What we see the government releasing today is a heavily neutered version of their plan, one that wasn’t worth the type of upheaval and uncertainty the UCP created at our universities.” – SU President, Frank Finley.
The Alberta 2030 strategy emphasizes work integrated learning and commits money to support Mitacs. Unfortunately for undergraduate students, Mitacs largely focuses on graduate students. Undergraduate students remain without a student jobs program since the UCP cut the Summer Temporary Employment Program in 2019.
“In his briefing today, the Minister said that there is no hotline to call up and hire interns for roles. The problem is that there actually was. The STEP program filled that need and allowed students to gain experience in their field, that is until it was cut by the UCP government.” – SU President, Frank Finley
Performance-based funding would have tied provincial funding to goals set by the province. As the province has made significant post-secondary cuts over the last two years, with more to come, the SU was concerned these performance-based measures would have given the province the cover it needed to make even deeper cuts.
In a briefing with students yesterday, Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides committed to release the McKinsey report that helped develop the Alberta 2030 strategy. The SU looks forward to reading that report to better understand the information that has led to the goals and actions in the Alberta 2030 strategy.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
External Communications Specialist
University of Calgary Students’ Union
Cell: 403-560-0577 / Email: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org