Alberta announces performance-based funding for post-secondary schools

UCP makes changes to post secondary funding. Sarah Freemark gets reaction to a new funding formula that means it's not just students who need to make the grade.

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s UCP government is changing its funding model for post-secondary schools.

Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides announced Monday the government will move to a performance-based model of funding starting April 1.

Nicolaides said this model is non-competitive and not uncommon to the rest of the world.

“Approximately 35 U.S. States use a form of performance-based funding over the last ten years. Many other countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Hong Kong, just to name a few.”

Nicolaides said there will be 20 pieces of criteria in total, 19 will be universal while each school can decide one themselves.

“There are indeed several indicators that government would like to see which include graduation and completion rates, graduate employment, experiential learning, enrolment both domestic and international.”

Other factors such as student satisfaction, quality of teaching and research capacity will also be considered.

In a statement to 660 NEWS, The University of Calgary said it welcomes the news of the funding model, saying it’s been a data-driven organization for over a decade.

“Several of our performance measures directly align with the areas that the Government of Alberta has indicated will be part of the outcomes-based funding framework and are areas where the University of Calgary excels. For example, our students have a 94.1 per cent graduate employment rate within a year of graduating from our university. Similarly, we have increased our research income by 50 per cent since 2014 for a total of $487.8 million in 2019.”

Nicolaides said while every institution will have similar, if not the same criteria, the weight behind each category may be different.

The government will hold consultations with schools over the next two months to talk about what indicators they’ll be measured by.

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