Investing in Post-Secondary Education for a Growing Saskatchewan

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This article originally appeared in the Government of Saskatchewan website on March 20, 2024.

In 2024-25, the Government of Saskatchewan is investing $793 million in the province’s post-secondary sector, representing a 3.7 per cent increase from the previous year. This year’s budget provides for increased funding within the multi-year agreement, health training programs and seat expansions, and capital for key infrastructure projects.

“Our government is focused on ensuring that sustainable funding, programs and opportunities are in place for Saskatchewan’s post-secondary students,” Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “This will deliver a future workforce that is responsive to the needs of our rapidly growing province and economy.”

Saskatchewan is providing a one-time, $12.0 million increase to its current multi-year funding agreement with post-secondary institutions, representing a 2.2 per cent increase in operating funding. This increase will help institutions remain responsive to the needs of students, communities and the labour market. The 2024-25 Budget represents the fourth and final year of this historic multi-year funding agreement and sets the foundation for negotiating a new agreement.

The Ministry of Advanced Education continues to expand health training programs in support of Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources Action Plan. This budget includes $3.5 million in new funding to create 66 additional training seats in programs for Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and other hard to recruit health care professions.

A further $7.9 million will support continued implementation of the significant seat expansions in high demand health training programs announced previously. Some programs include Licensed Practical Nursing, Medical Laboratory Assistant, Continuing Care Assistant, Primary Care Paramedic, Pharmacy Technician, Clinical Psychologist, Physical Therapist, and Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor. This budget also supports the continued expansion of eight Undergraduate Medical Education seats, providing $1.4 million toward training future physicians in the province.

In addition, government is providing funding to develop new opportunities for students to train in health sciences programs in Saskatchewan. Approximately $11.4 million will be invested to create Saskatchewan-based Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Respiratory Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.

More than $19.8 million in operating grants directly supports Indigenous post-secondary education, including targeted funding to increase Indigenous student recruitment, retention, engagement and achievement. Indigenous Language Teacher Education Programs and Indigenous language scholarships are also receiving funding to support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages in the province.

Saskatchewan students will see new supports for their post-secondary education. Students will benefit directly from $46.5 million in financial supports, including a new grant for low-income students with dependents under age 12 (or over 12 with a permanent disability). Other key student supports include $34.4 million for the Student Aid Fund, which provides repayable and non-repayable financial assistance to more than 22,000 students each year; and $12.2 million for scholarships and bursaries.

Students will continue to receive benefits after their studies through the Graduate Retention Program, which provides up to $20,000 in tax credits to post-secondary graduates who live and work in Saskatchewan. To date, more than 81,600 graduates have benefited from this program.

Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions will receive approximately $724.0 million in operating and capital grants, including:

  • $492.7 million to the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina and federated and affiliated colleges;
  • $193.8 million to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Gabriel Dumont Institute/Dumont Technical Institute; and
  • $37.1 million to Saskatchewan’s regional colleges.

Key capital investments include:

  • $610,000 for the Student Health Centre Expansion at the University of Regina;
  • $8.7 million for electrical and mechanical upgrades at the University of Saskatchewan;
  • $7.8 million to support implementation of three new domestic programs at the University of Saskatchewan: Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology;
  • $6.3 million for cooling tower replacement at the University of Regina;
  • $6.0 million toward Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Saskatoon Campus Renewal project; and
  • $2.6 million for continued and new expansions in health human resource programs.

In total, Saskatchewan has invested approximately $14.4 billion in post-secondary institutions and student supports since 2007.

 

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