April 06, 2021

$60 Million Investment To Address Pandemic Challenges In Post-Secondary Education

The 2021-22 Budget provides a significant multi-year investment to help grow the long-term financial sustainability of post-secondary institutions with additional funding to protect the post-secondary sector from the challenges created by the pandemic.

The Government of Saskatchewan will invest a total of $735 million in 2021-22. Beyond the typical base budget, government will invest an additional $60 million over two years (2021-22 and 2022-23) to be utilized for: COVID-19 recovery, revenue generation, sector collaboration and achieving the strategic initiatives set out in the Growth Plan. For the first time, Saskatchewan is providing a multi-year funding commitment to the sector, which was developed collaboratively and is focused on shared priorities.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for Saskatchewan's post-secondary institutions, the sector collaborated in remarkable and innovative ways to continue serving students," Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky said.  "We are pleased to provide a multi-year funding framework, which will provide the sector greater certainty during these times and create growth opportunities for the future."

Additional highlights of the 2021-22 Budget include:

  • $7.1 million for students eligible for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship;
  • $6.0 million for the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw Campus mezzanine replacement project;
  • $3.6 million for IT projects, including replacement of the student financial assistance system, as well as enterprise resource planning and a student information system for Dumont Technical Institute, regional colleges, and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies;
  • $2.9 million to secure up to 106 spaces for Saskatchewan learners to attend high demand health science programs;
  • $550,000 to support Mitacs student internships; and
  • $150,000 to support the ongoing development and delivery of a training program for employees at all designated institutions to become certified international education practitioners.

The government will provide more than $674 million in operating and capital grants to post-secondary institutions, including:

  • $447 million to the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, and the federated and affiliated colleges;
  • $164 million to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Dumont Technical Institute;
  • $34 million to Saskatchewan's regional colleges;
  • More than $22 million for preventative maintenance and renewal throughout the post-secondary sector; and
  • $7.0 million in capital funding for Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Students will benefit from nearly $38 million in direct financial supports, including:

  • $27 million to support the student loan program, which will provide repayable and non-repayable financial assistance to more than 18,000 students; and
  • $10.6 million for scholarships, including $7.1 million for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship which will increase from $500 to $750 for eligible students.

In 2020-21, a commitment of $17 million was made for three projects, part of the province's $2.0 billion in capital stimulus to build a stronger Saskatchewan. The projects included:

  • $3.1 million in upgrades at the University of Saskatchewan's Griffiths Stadium;
  • $2.5 million to replace the roof at the University of Regina's College of Kinesiology; and
  • $12 million to renovate several shops at Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Moose Jaw Campus.

Additional post-secondary investments in 2020-21 include:

  • $1.8 million investment to renovate the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Lab to provide additional safety for students, staff and the public; and
  • $687,000, to support the development of a new remote-delivery veterinary technology program that will be offered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic in the fall of 2021 to train and retain local registered veterinary technologists. 

In 2021-22, the government will launch a student loan forgiveness program for veterinarians and veterinarian technologists who work in rural and remote communities with a population of 10,000 or less.

Since 2007, the province has invested $11.7 billion in post-secondary institutions and student supports.