Above: Minister Nicolaides meets with student leaders prior to announcing a new post-secondary funding announcement.
by Morinville News Staff
The Government of Alberta announced Monday that it is moving to a new outcomes-based post-secondary funding approach that it says would “increase transparency and accountability and help build a modern and diverse workforce for the future.”
A portion of government operational funding from the Campus Alberta Grant to 26 colleges, universities and polytechnics under the new model will now require achieving key performance measures.
One of the findings of the MacKinnon Report was that Alberta’s post-secondary funding structure did not link funding to the achievement of specific provincial goals or priorities for skilled labour in the current and future labour market.
The Government believes these performance measures will improve services, increase efficiencies and create opportunities for Albertans through innovative programs and research that result in strong labour market outcomes.
“This is a new and completely transformative funding model for our universities, colleges and polytechnics,” said Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides. “Our new approach will help ensure students are set up for success by encouraging institutions to produce job-ready graduates. Students make a significant investment in their post-secondary education, and it is essential we do everything possible to give them a rewarding career at the end of their studies. By shifting the focus to performance, we will ensure taxpayer dollars are being used in the most responsible way possible.”
The Government says it is also transforming its relationship with post-secondary institutions by negotiating three-year funding agreements.
Investment management agreements will include specific performance targets for each institution and will state the government funding each institution will receive if they meet their performance targets.
Funding tied to performance outcomes will begin at 15 per cent of operational funding for 2020-21 and gradually increase to a maximum of 40 per cent by 2022-23. Performance measures will be introduced in 2020-2021 with more measures added over the next few years totalling about 15 outcome measures.
The Government has not finalized the performance measures; however, some of the items identified by the province include graduate employment rate, median graduate income, graduate skills and competencies, work-integrated learning opportunities, administrative expense ratio, sponsored research revenue, and enrolment.
The Government says the three-year terms will help institutions plan for the future and build on their record of excellence. Institutions that meet all of their targets will receive 100 per cent of their allocated funding. Those who do not will receive funding in proportion to their achievement.