Alberta universities get $50 million boost

By Chris Adams

Post-secondary institutions struggling to balance their budgets just got some good news from the provincial government.

On Nov. 6, Minister of Advanced Education and Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk announced that the provincial government will provide an additional $50 million to post-secondary institutions across the province.

“Today, all Campus Alberta presidents participated in a conference call with Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk,” a statement released by the University of Calgary said. “The Deputy Premier announced an additional $50 million for allocation amongst publicly funded Campus Alberta institutions this fiscal year to offset enrolment cost pressures.”

The University of Calgary will receive roughly one fifth of pledged funding.

“The University of Calgary will receive $10.6 million as a base addition to our Campus Alberta grant for the current 2013–14 fiscal year,” the statement said. “This reflects an approximate 2.6 per cent increase to base funding.”

This increase in funding is set to help alleviate budgetary concerns following $147.3 million in cuts to post-secondary funding. The University of Calgary received $40.7 million less than they expected in 2013–14 because of budget cuts.

Programs at institutions across the province were suspended in response to the budget.

The U of C has not announced where this funding will be spent.

“We will share with students, faculty and staff about how the $10.6 million will be allocated in the future,” said the University of Calgary’s release.
The Students’ Union is optimistic about the increase in funding.

“Obviously it’s exciting to see a reinvestment in post-secondary education,” SU vice-president external Conner Brown said. “The University of Calgary is in a very different financial position than other institutions around the province. It’ll be interesting to see where that additional funding is allocated towards.”

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