Balanced Budget Means Stable Funding For Saskatchewan’s Post-Secondary Institutions
The 2019-20 Budget strikes the right balance by maintaining operating grants to Saskatchewan’s universities and technical schools.
The Ministry of Advanced Education will invest $728 million to ensure Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions are sustainable now and into the future.
Key highlights of the 2019-20 Advanced Education budget include:
- Maintaining operating grants to the universities and technical schools;
- Funding of $88 million for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan;
- Increasing funding for the student financial assistance program, thereby ensuring that students can get help when they pursue their post-secondary studies; and
- Continued restoration of $5 million in funding to the University of Saskatchewan, to address an adjustment to the university’s budget in 2015-16.
The government will provide $673 million in operating and capital grants to post-secondary institutions, including:
- $469 million to the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and the federated and affiliated colleges;
- $152 million to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Gabriel Dumont Institute;
- $29 million to Saskatchewan’s regional colleges; and
- More than $22 million for capital repairs and maintenance throughout the post-secondary sector.
“I am pleased we were able to maintain our strong support of post-secondary education,” Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “This will ensure our institutions will continue to provide high-quality education to thousands of Saskatchewan students.”
Students will also benefit from $33 million in direct financial supports, including:
- $26 million to support the student loan program, which will provide repayable and non-repayable financial assistance to more than 18,000 students;
- Up front grants of up to $4,000 per year in combined federal and Saskatchewan assistance for a typical full-time student; and
- $7.0 million for scholarships, such as the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship and the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship. The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship will be converted to a needs-tested support.
Beaudry-Mellor said the government wants to make sure it is targeting resources to students who need it most to help with their tuition costs.
“By amending the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship to a needs-based approach, and increasing funding for student financial assistance, we can get money into the hands of students who truly need it,” Beaudry-Mellor said.
Under the new system, students can apply for the scholarship through a single application for three types of Saskatchewan financial assistance: grant, scholarship and loan. They can choose to accept any combination of the three.
In addition, students continue to receive benefits after their studies through the Graduate Retention Program, which provides Saskatchewan income tax credits of up to $20,000 for tuition fees paid by graduates who live and work in Saskatchewan.
Since 2007, the province has invested $10 billion in post-secondary institutions and student supports.