A strong post-secondary education system is essential to unlocking opportunity for tens of thousands of Albertans. It is also critical for our province’s long term economic prosperity. Unfortunately, the current PC government has done little to make post-secondary education more available or affordable for Albertans.
Tuition rates are among the highest in Canada, saddling graduates with excessive debt loads while scaring away many others from pursuing higher education entirely. If Albertans are to reach their full potential, our province must do a better job ensuring that tuition rates are more affordable and predictable than they are currently.
As more and more Albertans seek the education and training necessary to succeed in the global economy, it has become apparent that we need to tailor our post-secondary system to better suit the needs of Albertans.
TUITION, LOANS, AND TAX CREDITS
- Albertans already pay among the highest tuition rates in the country. We’ll ensure that tuition does not increase beyond inflation – A PC policy they haven’t always kept.
- We will review the Alberta student loan application process to ensure loan amounts meet the basic living needs of students.
- We’ll eliminate parental income as a factor in determining loans. All young Albertans should have the ability to pay their own way – the government shouldn’t expect middle-class parents to foot the bill.
- We’ll work with the Federal Government to expand tuition and other education-related tax credits and also use tax credits to promote donations to scholarship, research, and university endowment funds.
SPACES STUDENTS WANT, GRADUATES ALBERTA NEEDS
- Rather than having static, arbitrary numbers of spaces in departments each year, we’ll encourage competition and responsiveness by allowing more funding to follow students to the programs they want and the economy needs.
- For trades and professions Alberta has a shortage of, we will use loan forgiveness strategies to keep graduates working in the province.
- Our own Athabasca University is a world-leader in online education. We’ll encourage online teaching at all our campuses to increase capacity without having to increase buildings.
- We’ll work with schools and industry to enable trades students to have the option of taking verbal certification exams