(Edmonton, AB) – Today, students learned that the Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education would be providing the University of Alberta with an additional $14.4 million to the 2013/2014 base operating grant to deal with enrolment pressures.
The University of Alberta Students’ Union is thrilled to hear that the government of Alberta is beginning to reinvest in our postsecondary education system, and is optimistic that this is the first step towards stable, predictable funding.
“While the cuts to post-secondary education in the last budget have certainly hit at the educational quality of our institutions, this funding is an excellent first step towards mitigating the damage,” said Adam Woods, Vice President External.
“I hope that this is a sign from the government that they intend to fully restore post secondary education funding to previous levels in order to uphold their promise that last budget’s cuts were not meant to fall on the backs of students.”
The budget cuts have already been painful for the U of A, and have resulted in over a hundred staff so far leaving the U of A through a voluntary severance program, as well as decreased enrollment in the Faculty of Science. Students are also concerned that international students are being increasingly seen as “cash cows” by the institution. With less staff to teach and fewer Albertan students being admitted, the Students’ Union remains concerned about the future of post-secondary education in the province.
“With this announcement, the U of A needs to ensure that students are fully engaged when determining where this new funding will be directed,” added Woods, noting that the U of A President had already committed to talking with deans and the Acting Provost.
“Most importantly, we would encourage the U of A to use this funding to repair the damage that the cuts have caused to current programing and enrollment on our campus first, rather than using it to fund new initiatives.”
For more information, please contact:
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union