Post-secondary Education Plan

Provincial Election Platform Policy

Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel announced how an Alberta Party government would improve the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education in Alberta, including the creation of 45,000 new spaces and retaining a cap on tuition.

An Alberta Party government will make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible for Albertans:

Expanding Post-Secondary Spaces Across Alberta

  • An Alberta Party government will create 45,000 new spaces in post-secondary institutions by 2028. This includes universities, colleges and technical institutes.

  • It is estimated by 2026, there will be a 15% increase in the number of Albertans graduating from high school. This growth would require an estimated 40,265 spaces.

  • The new spaces will be developed in consultation with post-secondary institutions based in Alberta, and those seeking to expand in Alberta.

  • Consideration will be given to satellite campuses in underserved parts of the province, for example building a satellite campus in North East Calgary.

  • Non-traditional locations will be examined and considered for facilitating the new spaces.

  • Of these spaces, 3,000 will be dedicated to Indigenous-led programs.

  • New spaces will involve the establishment of learning centers available to adult learners, those who did not complete high school, or those who are upgrading.

Predictable, Affordable Tuition

  • An Alberta Party government will retain the current cap on tuition at Alberta post-secondary institutions, providing certainty and affordability for families.

  • We will provide predictable multi-year funding to post-secondary institutions.

  • An Alberta Party government will eliminate tuition fees for high school upgrading and English Language Learning programs, so every Albertan can acquire necessary skills.

  • We will work with post-secondary stakeholders to determine an optimal ratio for financial aid between targeted upfront grants and tax credits.

  • An Alberta Party government will be open and transparent with the recent Tuition Review.

Expanding Employment Opportunities for Post-Secondary Students

  • An Alberta Party government will expand the STEP program so more young people can access employment opportunities and gain work experience.

  • The STEP program will be expanded to a year-round program.

  • The program will also be expanded to include people who have recently graduated from a post-secondary program (i.e., within the past 12 months). This will help new graduates join the workforce and secure employment experience soon after graduation.

Bringing in a “creator-owned” model for Intellectual Property

  • An Alberta Party Government will work with post-secondary institutions to make it easier for innovators to spin-off their discoveries into new companies.

  • Ideas from our research institutions need to be easily turned into new products and companies. Alberta is lacking in this regard, partly due to how post-secondary institutions currently treat intellectual property from researchers and innovators.

  • University Technology Transfer Offices need to move away from patent collection and short-term cost recovery and towards lowering barriers for industry participation with a “creator-owned” model similar to the University of Waterloo.

  • The “creator-owned” model is an entrepreneurial-oriented intellectual property policy that grants ownership to the inventor. Ownership is the best motivator to commercialize, and will attract entrepreneurial faculty and students.

  • By significantly increasing commercialization and entrepreneurial activity, the “creator-owned” model will help drive job growth and diversify Alberta’s economy.

Work in Alberta Program

  • An Alberta Party government will establish a program to encourage Alberta post-secondary graduates to use their education and skills in Alberta.

  • The program will offer forgiveness of provincial student loans for post-secondary graduates who, after graduation, remain and work in Alberta for a certain amount of time in their area of study.

  • Additional forgiveness will available for those who choose to work in rural and remote areas of the province where particular skills are in short supply.

  • Each year, Alberta taxpayers subsidize the costs of educating post-secondary students. This makes sense, since our economy and society benefit from having a skilled workforce.

  • The Work in Alberta program will help retain skilled talent in the province, enabling Albertans to benefit from the investments that have been made in the post-secondary education system.