Connect with us
[the_ad id="89560"]

Alberta

Province defends post-secondary funding changes. Says United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong using performance-based funding

Published

7 minute read

Minister Nicolaides meets with student leaders prior to announcing a new post-secondary funding announcement.

From The Province of Alberta

Transforming post-secondary funding

A new outcomes-based post-secondary funding approach will increase transparency and accountability and help build a modern and diverse workforce for the future.

Under the new funding model, a portion of government funding to colleges, universities and polytechnics will be based on achieving key performance measures. Performance measures will encourage institutions to improve services, increase efficiencies and create opportunities for Albertans through strong labour market outcomes and innovative programs and research.

“This is a new and completely transformative funding model for our universities, colleges and polytechnics. Our new approach will help ensure students are set up for success by encouraging institutions to produce job-ready graduates. Students make a significant investment in their post-secondary education, and it is essential we do everything possible to give them a rewarding career at the end of their studies. By shifting the focus to performance, we will ensure taxpayer dollars are being used in the most responsible way possible.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“The University of Calgary has the ability to create the ‘arc to the future’ for Calgary and help re-imagine Alberta. The outcomes-based funding model is not only a tremendous opportunity to transform our post-secondary system, but to graduate a workforce that is capable of adaptation, with the skills and abilities to innovate and to support economic growth and diversification.”

Geeta Sankappanavar, chair, Board of Governors, University of Calgary

“We look forward to working with government to implement the new outcomes-based approach to funding. This approach should improve predictability in government funding levels and enhance accountability for results delivery, both of which will benefit our students.”

Dave Collyer, chair, Board of Governors, Bow Valley College

“Alberta’s post-secondary presidents welcome the opportunity to work with the Government of Alberta, our learners and other stakeholders in building a performance-based model that will enable us to achieve an overall vision for Alberta’s post-secondary system, that builds on the strengths and core mission of each institution, and that maximizes the quality of our learning and research environments so that learners and communities can reach their highest potential.”

Neil Fassina, president of the Council of Post-secondary Presidents of Alberta and president of Athabasca University

“Alberta’s students deserve an institutional funding model that is both modern and evidence-based. ASEC supports the changes made by the Government of Alberta towards a model that fits our values of transparency, accountability, affordability and predictability. We look forward to working with the government in the further development of the Campus Alberta Grant allocation.”

Emmanauel Barker, director, Government Relations and Advocacy, Alberta Students’ Executive Council

In addition to tying public investment to results, government is also transforming its relationship with post-secondary institutions by negotiating three-year funding agreements. Investment management agreements will include specific performance targets for each institution. They will also specify the government funding each institution will receive if they meet their performance targets. Three-year terms will help institutions plan for the future and build on their record of excellence.

The amount of funding tied to performance outcomes will begin at 15 per cent of operational funding for 2020-21 and gradually increase to a maximum of 40 per cent by 2022-23. A small number of performance measures will be introduced for the 2020-21 academic year, and more measures will be gradually introduced over the next three years to a total of about 15.

 Quick facts

  • Government provides operational funding to 26 universities, colleges and polytechnics every year, but historically, this funding has not been tied to any targets or outcomes. While government provides many different kinds of grants to post-secondary institutions, only operational funding through the Campus Alberta Grant will be tied to performance.
  • The MacKinnon Report identified that the current post-secondary funding structure does not link funding to the achievement of specific goals or priorities for the province, such as ensuring the required skills for the current and future labour market.
  • Outcomes-based funding is a global trend in higher education. About 35 U.S. states use a form of performance-based funding. Over the past 10 years, additional jurisdictions have implemented various methods of performance-based funding, such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
  • While performance measures will be finalized after discussions with post-secondary institutions, students and faculty, some examples may include:
    • graduate employment rate
    • median graduate income
    • graduate skills and competencies
    • work-integrated learning opportunities
    • administrative expense ratio
    • sponsored research revenue
    • enrolment (including potential targets for domestic students, international students and under-represented learners)
  • Performance measures will also be weighted differently depending on the institution. For example, different performance measures will be more important to different kinds of institutions.
  • Institutions that meet all of their targets will receive 100 per cent of their allocated funding.
  • If an institution does not meet its targets, the institution will receive funding that is proportionate to its level of achievement. For example, if an institution achieves 90 per cent of its target, it will receive 90 per cent of its funding for that target.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

Follow Author

Alberta

Former world champion Kevin Koe earns third straight win at Tim Hortons Brier event

Published on

CALGARY —
Kevin Koe remains unbeaten at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Koe’s Wild Card 2 rink defeated Eddie MacKenzie of Prince Edward Island 12-5 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 at the Canadian men’s curling championship.

MacKenzie’s squad dropped to 0-2.

Koe, a four-tine Canadian champion and twice a world gold medallist from Calgary,  took control of the match early, scoring three in the second for a 4-0 lead.

Koe’s rink added four more in the fourth end to go up 8-1 before adding three in the sixth for an 11-3 advantage.

Koe rounded out the scoring with one in the eighth, after which the two teams shook hands.

Koe’s takes on Team Canada’s Brad Gushue (2-0) in the evening draw.

In other early action, Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone (2-1) downed Newfoundland & Labrador’s Greg Smith (0-3) 6-3; Quebec’s Michael Fournier (2-1) defeated Nunavut’s Peter Mackey (0-2) 15-1; and Ontario’s John Epping (2-1) got past Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald (1-2) 12-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Alberta

‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Published on

EDMONTON — Kiara Robillard says she was in a really bad place.

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, after she was struck by a truck and her spine broke in two places, she moved home to Alberta from California.

“That put a real damper on my life for quite awhile,” says the 25-year-old, who’s unemployed and living in Edmonton.

“I was depressed, anxious, losing touch with reality, and I was desperate for help.”

A few months ago, she says her doctor recommended she subscribe to an Alberta Health Service text-messaging program designed to provide mental-health support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s called Text4Hope.

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months. After that, they can subscribe for a further six months.

Robillard selects a message of hope on her cellphone. “This one’s my favourite: ‘We often think that motivation leads to behaviour. The opposite is also true. Engaging in activities can increase your motivation.’

“I struggle with motivation so just seeing it written out in plain English … it kind of clicks.”

Vincent Agyapong, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, founded the program.

“Text4Hope is a program that allows individuals to subscribe to receive daily supportive text messages to help people deal with stress, anxiety and depression during the COVID pandemic,” he says.

“When people are feeling stressed, anxious and depressed, they become preoccupied with doom and gloom.

“Once you are in this mental state you receive this positive message of hope, which momentarily disrupts your negative pattern of thinking.”

Agyapong says the messages are crafted by psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists.

Another example of a message sent to subscribers: “When bad things happen that we can’t control, we often focus on the things we can’t change. Focus on what you can control; what can you do to help yourself (or someone else) today?”

The idea for Text4Hope came from a similar texting service Agyapong created after a wildfire tore through Fort McMurray, Alta., in 2016. Text4Mood, which was also promoted by Alberta Health Services, sent similar messages of hope to that community’s residents.

Over six weeks with Text4Hope, Agyapong says users reported a 10 per cent reduction in depressive thoughts in comparison to those who didn’t get messages.

“When people switch from being preoccupied with the doom and gloom to thinking more of the positive contents of the messages, which changes their thinking pattern, (it) results in reduced stress, anxiety and depression,” he says.

More than 52,000 people have subscribed to the program since it started nearly a year ago. It is planning to continue for at least two years.

Agyapong says he has also set up a program that will send similar text messages in Arabic for newcomers, starting in April.

Last month, he started a text service for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and he launched one in British Columbia for residents in Indigenous communities who have had multiple traumas. “They had wildfires, then they have flooding and now they have the pandemic,” says Agyapong.

Robillard says she is getting therapy and on medication, but Text4Hope comes in handy on days when she feels down.

“It’s something that’s like a good addition to whatever regimen you have for taking care of your mental health,” she says.

“It’s there to help me … having a different voice, a different stream of consciousness around me helps.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Trending

X