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Post-secondary schools react to performance-based funding model

Last Updated Jan 22, 2020 at 3:29 pm MST

Advance Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides announces a performance-based model of funding for post-secondary schools on Jan 20, 2020. (PHOTO: Saif Kaisar, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgary post-secondary schools are weighing in on the new performance-based funding model.

On Monday, the United Conservative government announced it would move to the new system as of April 1.

As part of the funding agreement, post-secondary schools must reach all 20 pieces of criteria to receive 100 per cent of funding from the province.

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The Opposition NDP was quick to criticize the move, with Rachel Notley tweeting her response.

“Minister Nicolaides is willing to wrap our post-secondary institutions and students in red tape as long as it distracts from the budget cuts, tuition hikes, and program eliminations he’s already imposed.”

The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) is also concerned about the transition in funding.

In a statement emailed to 660 NEWS, the group said, “This fundamental shift of how funding is allocated is concerning to CAUS, especially given the cuts that have already been implemented by the government. While post-secondary funding in Alberta needs transparency, university students fear this punitive funding model could be detrimental to their education if metrics are not equitable.”

Meanwhile, schools like the University of Calgary and SAIT say they welcome the new model.

“SAIT prides itself on setting our students up for lifetime career success and development – ensuring our graduates have the skills, mindset, experience, and certification needed to build a strong Alberta economy,” said President David Ross in a statement.

“We value the performance priorities of the new funding model. SAIT will continue to focus on performance results as they relate to the success of our students.”

“We welcome a long term stable, predictable funding model and a streamlined reporting process that reduces red tape. We look forward to working with the Government of Alberta in establishing a funding model that supports our mandate as a research-intensive university under the Post-Secondary Learning Act in Alberta,” said president and vice-chancellor for the University of Calgary Ed McCauley.

Alberta University of The Arts said it wouldn’t comment further until they learn more about the funding model.

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides said the government would consult with schools over the next two months to talk about criteria they’ll be measured by.