By Kristy Koehler, February 4 2020—
The United Conservative Party announced a change to the funding model for Alberta’s post-secondary institutions on Jan. 20. A new, performance-based funding model will begin April 1.
Each of the province’s 26 post-secondary institutions will get a chance to define one of their own metrics. Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides has said he’s “really open” to hearing from students and stakeholders.
“There’s lots of opportunity for students, faculty and our senior administrators to propose and suggest metrics that they believe would be valuable and that they believe would help strengthen their experience on campus so we’re open to all ideas,” said Nicolaides.
The implementation date for the funding model is coming up quickly and while consultation with students and stakeholders has been promised and encouraged, it’s unclear how that consultation will come together.
Students’ Union president Jessica Revington says there’s been no information given from the Ministry as to what student consultation will look like, but in the meantime, she and her colleagues are hoping to hear from students.
“Students are more than welcome to reach out to their faculty representatives or to myself or vice-president [external] Sadiya Nazir,” said Revington. “Our feedback form on our website is open as well if students want to give us feedback in that way.
“We don’t have any information from the Ministry as to what the timeline for student consultation or broader consultation would look like outside of an April 1 implementation deadline.”
As for whether a formal student consultation process will take place, Revington says that depends on what the Ministry is looking for.
“In the meantime, it’s incredibly important to us that if a formal mechanism for feedback does not appear in the plan the Ministry has laid out, we’re still collecting that feedback from students,” said Revington. “That way, when the Minister is meeting with myself, with SLC or with vice-president Nazir, our feedback directly reflects what students are thinking and feeling about performance-based metrics.”