President David Turpin: Highlights from Provincial Budget 2018

This afternoon, the provincial government tabled Budget 2018. I am pleased to report that there will be a 2 percent increase to the Campus…

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This afternoon, the provincial government tabled Budget 2018. I am pleased to report that there will be a 2 percent increase to the Campus Alberta grant. The government has also confirmed that operating funding will be provided to cover revenues losses resulting from the continued freeze on domestic tuition, announced last fall. On the capital side, they announced that the U of A will receive $30 million to increase the capacity and reliability of our campus’ electrical system, which provides power to the university hospital, Cross Cancer Institute, and Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. On behalf of the University of Alberta, I thank the provincial government for its ongoing support for and investment in Alberta’s students and post-secondary education. Such investment is vital to the future prosperity of the province.

There are other areas of targeted investment in post-secondary education which will benefit the sector overall, and represent future opportunities for increasing programming and student supports at the University of Alberta:

· $43 million over five years for 3,000 new technology-related, post-secondary program seats (initial investment of $6 million)

· $7 million for scholarships in emerging sectors, such as technology, life sciences, clean technology, and health innovation

· $8 million for student mental health funding

· $11 million Indigenous student supports (e.g. trainers and scholarships)

The University of Alberta takes seriously its stewardship of public funds, and as a community, we have been developing strategies and plans to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the university. One of our immediate goals is to address the structural deficit in the operating budget, in addition to managing increasing inflationary costs. Once we have received detailed information from the Ministry of Advanced Education on how the provincial budget will impact the U of A in particular, we can determine next steps. Any additional dollars will need to support our current efforts to move towards a more sustainable financial position, while preserving a high quality student experience.

It is essential that we stay the course, so that we can continue to plan for and deliver excellence in teaching and research for years to come to the benefit of our students and our broader communities.

David H. Turpin
President and Vice-chancellor