About U of A for Tomorrow

At a glance

  • Launched in June 2020, UAT is a bold plan for transformation.
  • We face an anticipated 33 per cent cut ($224M) to the U of A's Government of Alberta grant over 3 years.
  • The scale and speed at which we must respond is unlike any faced by any other institution.
  • We are acting now. Without change, the U of A will be a diminished university with a significantly reduced ability to contribute to economic growth and to the advancement of the public good in Alberta and beyond.
  • We are reimagining how faculties and disciplines are organized; restructuring how professional and administrative services function.
  • With fundamental systemic reform, we are addressing the financial challenge and enhancing delivery on our vision and mission.

The University of Alberta for Tomorrow (UAT) initiative launched in June 2020, a bold plan for transformation precipitated by major reductions in provincial funding but also shaped by our steadfast commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement for the public good.

In October 2019, the Government of Alberta announced a three-year fiscal plan that included an anticipated 33 per cent funding reduction ($224M) to the U of A spread out over three years. At the same time, the province approved tuition increases of 7 per cent a year for three years, projected to generate about $89 million in additional annual revenue. Including the new tuition revenue, the projected net loss to the university is about $135M, a 12 per cent reduction in our total annual operating budget of about $1.1 billion.

Once the reductions are complete, the U of A's funding per student will drop from about $18K, the highest of the U15 (a group of research-intensive universities in Canada), to about $12K, just below the average of the U15.

While addressing the current funding crisis, our plan is ultimately to sustain and strengthen the academy, and to enable future reinvestment in our core teaching, research, and community engagement mission while also enriching the student experience.

The U of A of tomorrow will be significantly different from the U of A of today—different in academic and administrative structure, more streamlined in administrative functions and services, and better positioned to drive growth and innovation in post-secondary education and research.

We continue to strive for an accessible, equitable, and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff that supports a learning environment shaped by curiosity, rigorous inquiry, evidence-based decision making, respect, and human rights. Together, we can renew and grow U of A's global leadership in higher education and research and drive even greater social and economic growth, innovation, and creativity for the public good of the province and beyond. Learn about our goals.

Progress in year one

Through UAT, we have made significant progress towards our goals in a short time. We have released a new model for administrative services across the university, planned and established the three colleges, launched the Student Service Centre, the Shared Services unit and the Staff Service Centre, and are on track to meet the goal to reduce administrative costs by $127 million by 2023. For information on our progress to date, please view a year 1 retrospective.

For more detail on how we arrived at this point and why this change is necessary, please read the Service Excellence Transformation Interim Report and the Interim Report of the Academic Restructuring Working Group.