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CAUT condemns Alberta education cuts

(Ottawa – January 24, 2020) Deep cuts alongside imposition of an “outcomes-based” approach to funding of post-secondary education in Alberta have prompted CAUT Council to express their unanimous condemnation of the moves to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

In a letter sent to Kenney, CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and Executive Director David Robinson state: “Your government's short-sighted plan balances a budget on the backs of students and staff. Alberta already has low participation rates for post-secondary education, and these changes will create more barriers, just when many young Albertans, especially those living in rural areas, and older adults who are navigating Alberta's changing industries, need doors open.”

CAUT’s letter takes note of Alberta’s “inspirational and vibrant post-secondary sector with internationally recognized universities, top polytechnics, and an extensive network of regional universities and colleges,” which are jeopardized by the government’s actions, along with the high-quality education and research they provide.

“[Alberta’s] post-secondary system [is] already under undue strain. Whereas system-wide data are important, performance-based funding, wherever it has been operationalized, leads to a narrowing of scholarship, both in teaching and research, limits education choice, and, frankly, results in “gaming”, fundamentally compromising the quality of education.

CAUT calls for Kenney to reconsider his approach.

“Post-secondary education and strong protections for workers sustains good jobs and a high quality of life. On behalf of our members, we implore you to reverse these cuts, reconsider your approach to performance-based funding, and reinvest in post-secondary education to ensure a better future for Albertans.”  

Read the full letter here.