By Karlie Mickanuik
The Alberta government is implementing performanced-based funding to public post secondary schools in Alberta. NAIT is one of the many schools that will see changes to its funding in the coming months.
Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, says that starting on April 1, the United Conservative Party (UCP) government will tie funding to universities and colleges based on a set of metrics. Nicolaides says up to 40 per cent of funding using a performance-based system will be initialized by 2022 or 2023.
Jason Roth, the advocacy director at the NAIT Students Association, says the metrics that the government is basing their funding off should be revealed in February, however Roth has said they have not received any new information as of yet.
“The metrics, we don’t know as of right now, so it could be things like graduation rates, whether or not the graduates get jobs in the first year, it could be even things like grades, it could be the number of students they recruit, we just don’t know. We know we’re gonna have to perform, we don’t know how yet,” said Roth.
Roth says that he believes NAIT will not see many negative effects to the institution when performanced based funding is implemented as graduate rates, employment rates out of graduation, and the salaries of graduates out of NAIT are high. Roth says metrics such as an equal male to female graduation rate could negatively affect the school as NAIT has a 60 per cent majority of males graduating. These categories are all possible metrics the UCP could use to determine funding for schools.
The Alberta government has not yet commented what metrics off which they will be basing their funding. The government’s budget plan was released in October of last year in the middle of NAIT’s operational year and there will be another statement about the budget regarding post-secondary schools in the coming months. Performanced based funding is said to help relieve the provincial debt rates.
“We don’t know what’s going to be affected here at NAIT yet, they haven’t told us. I can’t imagine how there wouldn’t be staffing reductions. I don’t know if there will be reductions in programming yet, so I don’t know if it’s going to affect students in that way, but it is going to affect the amount that [students] are going to have to pay for school next year,” Roth said.
No information about how the systems will work has been released but this system will be used across all of Alberta and will be constantly changing depending how well schools perform. Information regarding performance- based funding should be revealed before the end of February and is set to be implemented in April.