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HomeNewsMajor Change: UCP government changes post-secondary funding model

Major Change: UCP government changes post-secondary funding model

The Alberta government is transforming funding for Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

On Monday (Jan. 20), UCP Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides said this will be an outcomes-based funding approach for Alberta’s colleges and universities which aims to increase transparency and accountability.

He says performance measures will encourage institutions to improve services and increase efficiencies. “It’ll help sharpen the system’s focus and direct efforts toward ensuring students succeed in the labour market and provide job creators the talent they need to drive our economy forward. The new funding approach will ensure our universities, colleges, and polytechnics are both efficient and innovative”.

In addition to tying public investment to results, Nicolaides says the government is also transforming its relationship with post-secondary institutions by negotiating three-year funding agreements.

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The amount of funding tied to performance outcomes will begin at 15% of operational funding for 2020-21 and gradually increase to a maximum of 40% by 2022-23. A small number of performance measures will be introduced for the 2020-21 academic year, and more measures will be gradually introduced over the next three years to a total of about 15.

Nicolaides says a stronger funding system is needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to support teaching and research, instead of growing administration.

He says beginning April 1st, the new performance-based funding model will come into play. The Minister notes institutions will not compete against each other for taxpayer dollars. “Rather, they will compete against themselves and seek to improve their own performance against a series of targets”.

Nicolaides says Alberta’s post-secondary schools which meet all of their targets, will receive 100 per cent of their allotted funding.


  • While performance measures will be finalized after discussions with post-secondary institutions, students and faculty, some examples may include:
    • graduate employment rate
    • median graduate income
    • graduate skills and competencies
    • work-integrated learning opportunities
    • administrative expense ratio
    • sponsored research revenue
    • enrolment (including potential targets for domestic students, international students and under-represented learners)



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