Strengthening Post-Secondary For A Resilient Future

Alberta’s NDP knows that a well-funded and highly reputable post-secondary sector is critical to equipping Alberta’s future leaders with necessary skills and to maintaining and growing research and innovation. Equally important is that post-secondary education be accessible to all — whether in tech, trades, fine arts, sciences, liberal arts or elsewhere. 

We also know that investing in the post-secondary sector means investing in growing our economy. A strong post-secondary sector is critical to attracting and retaining quality employers in Alberta. Surveys and research have found that some of the most important considerations for  investment attraction are a skilled workforce, quality education system and liveability. The UCP's plan to decimate funding runs directly contradictory to its stated goals of drawing new companies and new economic investment to Alberta. 

Furthermore, there are serious concerns regarding post-secondary accessibility in the years to come.  The government’s own data suggests annual enrollment between 2015 and 2029 is projected to increase by almost 40,000 students per year. If the province fails to ensure that a sufficient amount of spaces is available to young people looking to study in Alberta, they will be forced to look elsewhere for opportunities and potentially leave the province for good.

We need a better path forward. We need a Government that supports post-secondary, that makes our schools a draw for applying high school students here and abroad and that properly prepares for the anticipated surge in enrolment. Doing all of this sets up post-secondary as a pillar of Alberta’s economic diversification effort.

The proposals in our Strengthening Post-Secondary For A Resilient Future paper attempt to restore some of the positive work underway by the NDP Government but also to make meaningful improvements beyond that. We recognize the work that was done was merely a start. We encourage each and every one of you to read the policy proposal careful and provide feedback. 

 

If properly supported, Alberta's post-secondary schools can provide a world-class education and set the next generation of our province’s leaders up for success. - Rachel Notley

 

Summary of Proposals 

 

Properly Funding the Post-Secondary System

  • Improve funding to our post-secondaries and bring back stability to the system to create the spaces and opportunities we need
  • Cancel the performance-based funding model

 

Supporting Alberta’s Economic Recovery Future and Resilience

  • Work with post-secondaries to strengthen their ability to innovate and transform Alberta communities into hubs for economic innovation.
  • Build an effective framework for applied research collaboration 
  • Consult with universities, researchers, and the federal government to improve frameworks for intellectual property (IP)
  • Work with regional institutions to offer opportunities for local workers to upgrade existing skills and credentials to respond to changing workforce and local needs
  • Establish a Future Leaders Council
  • Require all students to develop digital skills
  • Support Alberta students in finding valuable work experience 
  • Ensure that all Albertans are able to participate in post-secondary learning by implementing access to high-speed internet across the province. 
  • Support Alberta’s strong environment for apprenticeships 

 

Access & Affordability

  • Address the extreme tuition increases and revert back to capping tuition to inflation
  • Examine the Student Aid system and other affordability factors to ensure all Albertans are able to afford and access a variety of post-secondary options.
  • Ensure students can participate in post-secondary education regardless of ability, personal challenges and learning needs

 

Supporting and Attracting Staff  

  • Institute policies and recruitment initiatives that support quality instruction, including efforts to reduce precarious employment for instructors
  • Providing opportunities for pure research and further support universities, polytechnics and colleges

 

Resilient Communities 

  • Implement and strengthen efforts of reconciliation in post-secondary schools
  • Work with the University of Alberta and the Francophone community to provide sustainable, multi-year funding to Campus Saint Jean 
  • Improve the recognition of foreign credentials 
  • Recognize the vital role that arts, literature, and creative sectors play in the economy, and in the well-being of our communities.
  • Continue to build an environment that promotes the mental health and well-being for staff and students

 

We can attract the brightest minds, we can inspire the next generation of big thinkers and innovators. Government has a role to play and it shouldn’t shy away from that, it should embrace it. - Advanced Education Critic David Eggen

 

 

Leave a Comment

Geoffrey Fraser

Posted

I missed the Zoom session, so my apologies for showing up late! I am a professional geophysicist who benefited enormously from my university education. I have a couple of comments on the current proposals the NDP is putting forward. Firstly, there's lots of good stuff here which I can support. Secondly, I don't think you're going to get many votes with this. I think the NDP needs to pick about two or three main themes for secondary education, and maybe education as a whole, and hammer voters with that. I'd suggest: Accessibility: bundle everything about making university accessible in here, capped fees, more support for students, etc. I'd add accessibility for the public who supports the universities, how about making access to all the scientific journals at the universities available to everyone in Alberta. You'd have to negotiate a deal with Science and Nature, but I'm sure this could be done. Also a great way to battle misinformation, make the real research available for free. Excellence: let's be bold and put some real money into the universities, provide them with large endowments to support research and world leading researchers. Look at revamping the employment contract with professors so that they feel a need to stay current, engaged and relevant to their students. Put some real money into this, maybe a few billion to start. We can do it for COVID, let's do it for our future. Relevance: help our university faculty to be relevant to the public who pays their salaries. Enable more interaction between the public and the professors, leverage Zoom forums to make that available. There's a huge amount of suspicion among the general public about the motivations of university professors and researchers. When people don't like something like climate change they like to believe that the people giving them the bad news are somehow "corrupt". Nothing mends that broken relationship better than getting to know the researcher as a person. Not "scientists believe in climate change", but "Dr. Smith, who I've seen talking about this stuff, believes in climate change". We need a whole of society assault on mis-information and lazy "I don't want to believe it because its uncomfortable" thinking. Our university researchers are an enormous under utilized resource in this battle. Let's mobilize and resource them so they can help all of us to understand what we need to do to meet the challenges facing us.

Arjun

Posted

I want NDP to look into crises in the provincial Crown Prosecutors offices across the province and make it an election platform issue. Due to salary freezes and unmatched salaries with provinces like BC and ON almost 600 years of experience has been lost resulting in inefficient prosecuting and unsafe communities. We need to urgently look into it because no matter how much money we invest in policing if the prosecution is not going to be effective then it's of no use.

Irene Kirbyfrith

Posted

I would like to see a review of where the funding for post secondary is going. It should be going into the functions that have direct student contact-not to management. My area has seen a doubling of the management positions, a reduction in instructors and larger class sizes. And now we are being forced to decrease the classroom contact hours so that instructors will be able to teach more courses. This means more students and less support for each one.

Arend Gregor

Posted

"AWESOME!" We are always on board with NDPs future visions that help the middle and lower classs achieve education and job levels only the right wing elite get to enjoy. Thank you.

Kirby

Posted

These looks like great starting pieces to improve our post secondary education. Student debt needs to perhaps be highlighted more - especially for students who take 4+ years of education, as it can be difficult to maintain any employment during studies, and the few months between winter and fall terms (spring and summer terms when most students are off) are not long enough to make substantial income with current wages for jobs available to students. As well, making tuition a tax redeemable credit that J K got rid of would also greatly help students starting out, as well as those who want to get additional education later into their career.

becky donelon

Posted

I am in support of this proposal for strengthening post-secondary in AB - all of the points are relevant and aligned with the issues. In particular, I support the points: 1. Improve funding to our post-secondaries and bring back stability to the system to create the spaces and opportunities we need +1. Institute policies and recruitment initiatives that support quality instruction + 2. Providing opportunities for pure research and support existing work. - I work in paramedic education as part-time faculty and this model prevents full-time positions due to funding gaps and directly impacts the quality of the program and sustainability of the programs. 1. Work with post-secondaries to strengthen their ability to innovate and transform Alberta communities into hubs for economic innovation. The College I work at is well placed to innovate for community needs, including indigenous nations in preparing their folks to enter the health workforce yet funding and mandates prevent this from happening. This is also linked to the issue of access to internet - 7. Ensure that all Albertans are able to participate in post-secondary learning by implementing access to high-speed internet across the province. Improving applied research pathways is important to allied health practitioner and programing development as is building research capacity in each discipline - in particular those not connected in the university academic streams, such as paramedicine. I would like to participate in future education policy discussions. Thanks Dr. Becky Donelon, EdD, ACP

Leonard Apedaile

Posted

-A pretty good policy statement. -Student access needs support. Grades and certification shouldn't be used to ration entry as opposed to identifying promise using broader criteria as well. -Base affordability on evidence of the split between benefits of education to the public good and to the private success of graduates. -Make better use of fiscal measures to support family contributions to the private costs of post-secondary education for family members. Example, expensing tuition costs or tax credits for students and their family. Expensing interest costs against taxable income for student loans on a declining basis over x years following graduation. -There is more to extracting excellence from profs and instructors than public policies encouraging raw Darwinian competition and managerial dogma.

Dawn

Posted

I 100% agree that education, in particular post secondary education should be an integral part of Alberta’s economic future, but although I see that you have great suggestions for spending…I’m not seeing how your proposed educational changes will generate the funds to support these improvements. Please include proposals on how to generate funds within the educational system while ensuring tuition costs are reasonably managed. This would help me trust that this is well thought out and a viable system. I would like to see more online Post secondary programs/classes (or a hybrid model) offered to support those (of all ages and locations) who need flexibility of time and place. The reality is that most students currently taking University courses learn most of the content from free YouTube video supports and thus are only really paying the University to write their exams and by passing be judged qualified. Acknowledging this reality would be effective in planning to “make spaces” for all the upcoming students who should be offered a choice between University sponsored virtual and in class spaces. Great start though…

Clara

Posted

Do not turn universities into tech schools—leave that to tech schools. Universities need “idea” results. This will result in work for the tech graduates.

David Cooper

Posted

Make sure the proposals are clearly different from UCP "Alberta 2030 Plan". Student Aid needs to be fully researched to ensure a fundamental re-think of the whole approach to student aid. Greater employee (faculty) and student representation, with adequate support to ensure they can hold University management accountable.

Susan Beckett

Posted

Please consider a major restructuring of the way post-secondary funding is managed. After having visited Australia several years ago, I was very impressed with their student loan management plan, and I would like to propose a version of that for Alberta and all of Canada. Here is a summary: Once an applicant is accepted to become a student, they can "register" for student funding. This registration works like a line of credit for all school expenses. Tuition, books, room, board, etc., can be added to the debt as they are incurred and can be paid back as the student is able. Interest is low, and an advisor facilitates access to funds. Upon leaving school, the amount still owing is automatically repaid at a rate of 1% of the income tax paid by the student. This would require a system of support ant tracking to ensure repayment, but not a huge burden to someone just starting out in their career.

Bob Ascah

Posted

This is a good start. Agree with linking a strong and internationally recognized PSE sector is vital to future performance of the Alberta economy. Like ideas of facilitating foreign credentials- easier said than done. The whole matter of intellectual property is central as well. I think taxpayer funded academics who commercialize should share the upside with the province and provincial institutions. My fundamental question with all these expenditure policies is: HOW ARE WE GOING TO FINANCE ON A LONG-TERM AND SUSTAINABLE BASIS? We can no longer delude ourselves that the oil and gas fairy will bail the province out as the UCP seem to think. So all expenditure promises need to have with it a dose of reality that borrowing is not the solution to everything and Albertans are going to have to foot the more of the bill through higher taxes rather than hoping for a return of the oil fairy.

Peter Coles

Posted

Great proposals. I think we should also make it a priority to restore the tuition and education tax credits (which the UCP eliminated in 2019). Students relied on the extra cash at tax time to help them through the year.

Kerry Gaudette

Posted

I totally agree with everything you have put forward, I sure hope you guys get back in we need you Alberta needs you.

Bryce Frank

Posted

I agree we need to improve our education system, the best way to do this is by ensuring the biggest expense compensation is brought back into line with neighbouring provinces, then use the savings to hire more teachers and build more schools. Also we need a method to weed out the teachers who are not up to par, bringing a rating into schools would highlight where teachers are failing their students

Erich

Posted

All the UCP wants is a large supply of cheat uneducated labour so they can help only the rich succeed.

Ross

Posted

Sorry I didn't finish my previous comments. Alberta should decentralize more post-secondary education. Geographically it is too centralized. This will not be supported by most academics who live in the cities but education is also an economic and social driver and rural areas should also benefit more than presently occurs. BC has done a much better job of recognizing and providing post-secondary opportunities throughout the province. Years ago, Sweden recognized this as being important and decentralized some post-secondary education. Accessibility is critical and postsecondary education must become more accessible to rural Albertans.

Ross

Posted

I agree with much you are proposing but have a few concerns. I'm retired now but support education and was involved in post-secondary education and research in the past. -Performance based education has merit. There are many involved in post-secondary education that don't like teaching . -

Robert J Allen

Posted

I think that this proposal is a good, but half, step. Any proposal that doesnt include a shift towards inexpensive, or free, post-secondary education is just that...a half measure. The most developed nations, with the best middle class experience/standards, have free post-secondary education. We Canadians have distinguished ourselves from our southern neighbours with our outstanding healthcare system. Lets go further and educate our citizens to the best possible outcome.

MEE

Posted

I fully support this proposal and have a few suggestions. *The performance-based funding has created a constant crazy scramble to get the magical mix of programs/services, so an institution survives financially from one year to the next. Yes, get rid of it. *Entrepreneurship needs to be emphasized so Albertans are less reliant on goods/services from outside the province. Graduates need to have the skills, confidence, and desire to grow, build, manufacture, etc. locally. *Please include highly skilled curriculum designers on the Future Leaders Council. They have the expertise on pedagogy, andragogy, and curriculum design which is not always in the skill set of faculty, staff, administrators, and external stakeholders. *Please add information literacy to digital skills. Information literacy skills include problem solving, critical thinking, information gathering, and sense making. Students' social media skills usually far exceed their information literacy skills. They need to be able to identify, find, evaluate, apply, and acknowledge sources of information. *Trade students are not exposed to any aspects of reconciliation due to the curriculum design of the trade. This can also be true of some diplomas and certificates. There is little room to add this content to tightly packed courses. *Well-being needs to be a part of every post-secondary program to provide students with the life long skills of self-awareness and self-care which is required for a successful work life/career. Students are not always aware that they need to get help from resources on campus. Faculty and counsellors are alarmed by the volume of mental health issues they are seeing. *Faculty have identified over and over again that the writing skills of students entering post-secondary are sub-standard. Not sure how this should be addressed, but something at the lower levels of education needs to be looked at.

Christina

Posted

I am in favour of this proposal. The only thing I would add is to ensure there is free mental health support available to all students and recent grads. I don’t know if there is support now or not, but there should be.

Christina

Posted

I am in favour of this proposal. The only thing I would add is to ensure there is free mental health support available to all students and recent grads. I don’t know if there is support now or not, but there should be.

Priscilla Kennedy

Posted

I agree that post secondary education is extremely important for our society.

James Culver

Posted

I am in total support of post secondary education in all its forms . It needs to be refunded such that it will be strong. It supports people of all economic groups. Private schools do not. Much like our current UPC gang who would privatize every thing.

Ron Fraser

Posted

I'm excited to see conversations about the future of education in Alberta. I completely support the priority of education to support diversification of our economy. This will require creation/re-creation of supports for research and development. I would also like to see stronger supports for the development of an imaginary beyond economics. Whatever became of education for human and community thriving? It seems to me that the large challenges facing our world, climate change, peace and justice, order and good government, etc., largely created by short term economic pragmatism, will not be solved by it. The global challenges, are much deeper than simple economic thriving. In spite of the reality that these challenges will not be addressed overnight, there is still room to hope. And the resources are close at hand. So my question is this. Would we in Alberta be better served by thinking in terms of our global leadership in an education for human thriving? I think so. And I think it will begin with a rejuvination of the humanities. There, understanding of who we are, what we are here for, how we relate to, reconcile with, and care for others, compassionate economic development, earth care, etc., are live possibilities.

Dawn Siemens

Posted

Strengthening Post-Secondary for A Resilient Future: "If the province fails to ensure that a sufficient amount of spaces is available to young people looking to study in Alberta, they will be forced to look elsewhere for opportunities and potentially leave the province for good." Please change the grammar in the above sentence to read: ... to ensure that a sufficient number of spaces are available ... Your post-secondary policy proposal is just what Alberta students, educators, and researchers need. I agree with Sandra's comment (Feb. 11th) about the need to also strengthen primary and secondary education.

Charlotte Martynuik

Posted

I agree with above policy proposal. I will sign up for Mar. 3 on-line meeting but I can only stay for the first hour as a have a previous meeting at 7 p.m.

Beth Gerwin

Posted

Thank you for this well-conceived proposal. Education is indeed a public good, enacted through individual growth and striving, by students and their professors. For students, this means supporting access to education by avoiding large tuition increases to offset budget cuts, and maintaining a broad, rich and diverse course and program offering, so that students can discover what they love and excell at. For teachers and researchers, it means budgetary stability, reduction of precarity for instructors, and inclusion in decision-making about where funds should be channeled within university programs. No political ideology (on any end of the spectrum) should guide funding for education - such acts are antithetical to what education is all about.

Aylin Atilla

Posted

I completely agree post secondary needs to be refunded adequately. We need strong humanities as well as other disciplines and they have born the brunt of the budget cuts. But, please don't roll back the few areas where investments are being made such as veterinary medicine. This is long overdue and the province needs more vets.

SE

Posted

Consider how to bring educational opportunities for local students in rural and remote communities for required jobs in health and education (registered nurse, psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, social worker, addiction counsellor, early childhood education, teacher, nurse practitioner, mental health therapist, etc.). People don’t stay when they don’t have roots, so it may make sense to provide opportunity for those who do. Expect better collaboration between colleges/universities and employers to better prepare students for the work that is available. An example: RNs and LPNs need foundational knowledge of psychiatry and addiction regardless of where they will work. Choosing not to teach how to complete a mental status exam or how to assess symptoms of withdrawal helps no one when these issues will be present in every unit and role.

Marc Roussel

Posted

Two quick comments: 1. Not everything that conservatives have thought up in the past was bad. The three-year rolling budgets of the late 90s/early 00s were a good idea. Having certainty about the budget over a three-year horizon allows for real planning as opposed to just reacting to whatever is thrown your way. Even when (or perhaps particularly when) cuts are coming, knowing it a couple of years out really helps. This is also true when significant increases to the base budget are coming. Any increases will be spent much more wisely if they are known a few years out. 2. Alberta Innovates is trying too hard to funnel money into a limited number of areas of research. Especially for graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, we should be funding talent, regardless of where their focus is. I was surprised not to see anything about Alberta Innovates in this report. It's an important part of the overall research and training ecosystem in Alberta.

D.

Posted

Love this. My only additional suggestion would be to have a proposal for the mess the UCP made of the colleges that were on the verge of transitioning to Polytechnics. Grand Prairie Regional College, Red Deer College, became 'polytechnics' instead of the promised universities. This was sold to voters on the lie that if GPRC and RDC became universities they would no longer be able to offer trades and apprenticeship training. You've now got these weird 'polytechnics' that are not polytechnics (Like Red Deer Polytechnic) you'll need to deal with. Central Alberta Needs a comprehensive undergraduate degree granting institution that also offers trades certification. A University or A Polytechnic University would do this. Red Deer and Grand Prarie are not SAIT/NAIT nor should they become those kind of institutions. The same is true of Northern Alberta. The UCP plan to change the education act such that there are two kinds of institutions in Alberta (Universities & Colleges/Polytechnics). They've created a mess that your government will need to fix. So, love the plan, but please think about messaging and a strategy for how you'll correct the damage that's been done.

Gerry Marshall

Posted

The key to our excellent post secondary education is our widely recognized, excellent public school systems. It is very unfortunate that our current government is making decisions that will do damage to those very public schools. Also very upsetting is the fact that both the education minister and the premier, have little or no post secondary education.

Joanne McGrath

Posted

Affordable access to post-secondary education is key to lifting people out of poverty. All of society suffers when we have huge sectors of our population living at the poverty line. Establishing grants for single parents so that they can acquire an education that will allow them to provide opportunities for their children is vital to a healthy workforce and society.

Barrett Swendsen

Posted

This is a much needed proposal at this time. Universities have been forced to cut and all it hurts is Alberta. Alberta would not be the wonderfully diverse and strong province it is with out the successful Post- Secondary system of the past. What has been done in the past few years needs to be undone, made better for the future of Alberta.

Gilda Valli

Posted

The proposals are thoughtful and aspire to a standard that Alberta should be proud to promote. I for one was horrified by the UCP's performance based model for university level education, and just as horrified by the curriculum revision for our schools. Education in its essence is giving people the means, the journey, the path to engage the process of becoming everything that an individual can be. That is the job of becoming human, and it cannot be valued in dollars. Its a process that can develop people who can lead and create, and they are fundamental to the health and wealth of any community, province or country. My university education saved my life, quite literally. An education is not just learning a trade. it has something to do with civilizing people and it is a sacred trust.

Lauranne

Posted

We need to promote the work done at the U of A and other Alberta Research bodies. Last publication of New Trails Magazine showcases several medical innovations that are exciting and worthy of oodles of press, but I would never have known about them had I not been an alum. of UofA and received the magazine. Should be front page news, shouted from the roof tops.

Scott Forbes

Posted

All well and good but having worked in education for 30 years the last 15 at MacEwan University and witnessing the amazing amount of waste (e.g. money spent on unused and severely under used technology, perpetual “renovations”, IT…) and especially the bloated administration… Here is what i suggest: no need for more than one VP, limit president’s pay (they are very much little more than figureheads), install a funding formula of no more than 10% administration, 20% support staff, 10% infrastructure including IT (another area of bloat) and all the rest toward teaching staff with the requirement that no less than 80% be full time teachers/instructors/professors. The other 20% part-time/sessional. My biggest beef is with amount of overly paid, needless, administration and under worked support staff (macEwan hired two people for the job of onet seemed to me). Like American universities our institutions have become unduly and inappropriately top heavy with impressive sounding but useless administrative positions. So, Less focus on tuition and way more focus on restructuring how our educational institutions are operated. One last observation: time to end the Public/catholic duplication in K-12. One provincial school system for all as opposed to a wasteful duplicate/parallel system. E.g. school buses that pick up public school kids and drive public school kids, building two schools instead of one that serves all, using pre-fab add ons when enrolment increases at one school and under utilizing the one down the street - better, smarter and efficient use of infrastructure/physical plants/buildings. Lastly, institute a “local” school rule n that kids go to the school closest to them. If parents want them to attend a different school then THEY have to move. This would certainly reduce the need for so much busing.

Glenn Wilkinson

Posted

These are wonderful proposals. Perhaps a pay rise that matches (at least) inflation? We haven't had one for some time, though I see that the UCP gave their Deputy House Leader one. Also, perhaps enabling Universities to reduce workload and hiring continuing Sessional staff.

Dick Huddleston

Posted

I would like to see innovation in our post-secondary system: particularly in universities by: changing the system to focus on teaching students, rather than on the triple focus of research, teaching and community service. Classes are too large, too impersonal and having little effect on the broader development of intellectual skills and ethical development. Is Alberta going to continue to foster the dumbing down of our education system? Suggesting that funding should increase sounds hollow when the top administrators are making more than a million a year. When I canvassed for the NDP in the last election, householders told me that NDP scared the shit out of them.

Pat Tarr

Posted

Well done! This policy successfully addresses a number of concerns I have had including: the performance based funding model, affordability of post-secondary education, lack of security for sessional instructors (including over reliance on sessional instructors), and lack of recognition of the importance of the arts in an educated community both in preparing an educated citizen and in the economic value the arts bring.

Jean Kensit

Posted

I subscribe to almost all of your proposals. I am unaware of the Campus St Jean. I m not sure if I saw materials suited to our 1st nations. I do know that Education is fundamental to a healthy and informed society and without its main pillar we are more likely to go backwards rather than forwards. Who will move here if their children cannot find education here ? How do the Arts flourish if the young people have all gone elsewhere? Healthcare requires graduates - Hospital beds without staff has been seen before, with disastrous results. We already have cities hunting for Physicians.

John Burger

Posted

Rather than cancelling the performance-based funding model, there would be merit in giving institutions flexibility in demonstrating how they are adding value to society, the economy, and student's lives while ensuring that their students have a voice in designing the institutions accountability model. Government's role would be reviewing, providing feedback and approving the accountability model employed, including the empirical basis and how the data generated adds insight at multiple levels. Accountability should be empowering.

Ray Hajar

Posted

I hope his a inperson session. Many people would enjoy this

Peter Patrick

Posted

. . . an excellent proposal, as far as it goes . . . after teaching school for close to forty year, I am convinced that students should be able to opt for Trades' Programs at a much earlier age than they now can . . . our educational system is being undermined by the opinions that all students should be enrolled in an academic based education until they are at least into, if not finished, High School; and that all students should be encouraged to attend colleges and universities . . . both students and our society would be better served if they could choose much earlier to leave the academic route that is now mandatory and universal and enter into an exclusive trades' route, beginning at age fourteen . . .

Rod E. McConnell

Posted

Make university, colleges, etc. more accessible in local communities throughout the province so that students can stay at home but still take these courses. Living away from home is a major cost and discouragement to those students who wish to attend higher education. Most courses can be taught through the judicious use of well-designed and developed multi-media programs. These programs must be created with a team approach so that educators, media consultants and developers can produce computer-based multi-media programs that are interesting, informative, evocative and effective in meeting educational goals and objectives. A talking face does just does not cut it when it comes to education in most respects and is something that must be discontinued in creating new, effective media. Also, this should not be done without the inclusion and integration of relevant real-life experiments and experiences, especially in science-related areas.

mike finn

Posted

Have a look at the Texas model for funding Universities. I think it is a strong system, largely independent of Government interference and requiring Institutions to have a strong business sense.

James Love

Posted

All good ideas but I would vote for classes below 10 students for the first three years of formal education to ensure everyone learns to read as best they can. If students can read and listen personal attention becomes less important and numbers can increase. Both my parents were teachers. I graduated from U of Texas, Austin. Texas public schools are supported by OIL in that the University system in Texas owns oil rights for a large portion of the State. It seems to me Alberta depends heavily on oil for its Budget. Why not fund education with our oil rights instead of through current taxation: think Alberta Trust fund while we still have some left.

Annika

Posted

1. Definitely cancel performance-based funding. In addition to encouraging institutions to play a shell game with the data, the effort that has to go in to reporting all of this information for "accountability" to the government is nonsense. I find myself wondering just what happens with all the data that is being reported - it feels like a giant time suck that produces little of value to the post-secondary institutions themselves. 2. Reduce the frequency of OAG audits in post-secondary institutions. It has reached a point of ridiculousness. We seem to be undergoing an external audit of some sort all the time! Hiring external auditors to come in to "pre-audit" us, so we do well on the OAG Audit, then having the OAG come in and perform another audit, often on an entirely different set of controls, then the feds come in for another set of audits...around and around we go! These audits do not create value - they destroy it! And they often impede post-secondaries from innovating as they implement increasingly convoluted processes to ensure that every possible risk - no matter how unlikely or low impact - is mitigated. Accountability is important - but the the sheer volume of it has produced multiple cottage industries in gov't, post-secondaries, and external companies - and it's VERY unclear what value is actually being delivered to Albertans, if any.

Erika

Posted

Post secondary education systems in Alberta need to ensure that students wishing to specialize in a particular area, such as Biology or other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related fields are able to get into the classes they need for their degrees. Currently, the system does not allow students to specialize and advance in their field of study and register for the courses they need, should one of their elective courses bring down their overall average because classes are capped and those already specialized are given precedence. Thus, these students can't advance but are forced to take courses they don't need or want for their area of specialization, prolonging their ability to graduate in time and costing more money. Or, if they are not meeting the English mark cutoff from high-school, even though they excel in STEM classes. This discriminates against otherwise smart scientific minded students that may have excellent writing skills and grammar and have a good potential to become great scientists and contribute to society. This really restricts students' choices, even if they are highly qualified for the program, otherwise. The universities should not only be looking at grade point averages for the student to be able to declare their specializations, but the grades obtained for their core courses required for that specialization. Expanding class size, number of classes, and qualified staff will help alleviate this issue, as well as making tuition reasonable to get value for dollar for the students. Otherwise, we will continue to see an exodus of students to other provinces that have a fairer evaluation system, which enables them to realize their dreams and potential, take subjects they need and want, and get value for their money.

David Lorne Pike

Posted

Digital skills are important; but I don't see the equally crucial requirement that post-secondary students develop practical methods for thinking critically, acting ethically, resolving value conflicts, working collaboratively in inter-disciplinary, culturally diverse teams, and developing all three problem-solving, challenge-meeting capabilities: namely the abilities to analyze, to generate options, and to use executive tools to reach goals. We talk about the importance of these things, but as a former director of SAIT's Teaching and Learning Centre and an International Education Consultant, I've seen mostly lip-service. So much more can be done. I have a draft of a workbook to be called Building Intelligence, Imagination, and Innovation (BI-cubed) OR 20 Questionnaires for Fine-Tuning Your Life and Work and for Working With Others. Should be a workbook for professional development workshops across business and industry. Rachel Notely seems to me to be a leader with the intelligence, imagination, and capacity to innovate that might make my turbo-charged improvement to post-secondary education so. Please make it so.

Jim Gough

Posted

1. Instructional resources need to separated from administration costs. 2. I think, following the Quebec model, Alberta should institute a province wide university with satellite campuses in various locations outside UofC/UofA/Lethbridge so that there can be significant savings of administrative costs--freeing more money to go into instructional resources. So, UofA at Red Deer seems a more viable option than introducing the costs of another autonomous university, instead introducing a viable independent campus at Red Deer, for example, that offers distinctively different options than available in Edmonton. 3. Introduce more applied learning initiatives inside existing programs, so, for example, an applied component of the BA of BSC offerings would introduce the students to real life expeiences and reduce the costs of tuition for them.

Darrel Florence

Posted

I am absolutely in agreement of maximally supporting secondary education.It is our future and all those coming behind. I understand better than most as a grade 12 failure who self financed my way to three university degrees and taught at universiies for almost twenty years. Kenney was so wrong to cut the funding to our universities. However it does need some good oversight as I have experienced firsthand the misuse of funds by egotistical, greed for power driven faculty and administrative staff.

Natalie olson

Posted

Hi there, I would like to have a serious discussion with someone regarding the AISH program.

Theresa Bratt

Posted

The UCP government is anti-education, anti-teachers, and anti-intellectualism. It is an absolute crime what they have done in Alberta.

Sandra

Posted

Cancelling performance based funding is critical! It leads programs to drastically reduce course requirements to ensure students pass. This leads directly to under-skilled, under-performing graduates. As a post secondary instructor, I also urge you to strengthen primary and secondary education. Currently, incoming post secondary students (as a collective) have poor writing, math, and critical thinking skills. Post secondary education cannot make up for what’s lacking in grade school. Our graduates are not as skilled as they should be, and Kenney’s continued undermining of grade school education will exacerbate the problem.