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Increased Investment In Post-Secondary Education Expands Training Opportunities

Saskatchewan's 2023-24 Provincial Budget will strengthen post-secondary education by expanding training programs, funding priority infrastructure projects and supporting students financially.

The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $764.8 million in the post-secondary education sector, an increase of $24.5 million or 3.3 per cent.

Giving students more opportunities to prepare for and pursue their careers of choice encourages growth that works for everyone. The budget provides $25.2 million in new funding to expand training programs for key health professionals. Beginning in fall 2023, approximately 550 seats will be added across 18 health training programs to help address critical labour market needs. 

In addition, $10 million will support the continuation of a 150-seat expansion in nursing programs and $2.4 million will be used to train internationally educated health care providers. Funding of $539,000 will support five new veterinary training seats for Saskatchewan students. These investments are in addition to capital and operating funding that was initiated in 2022-23 for these programs.

The Ministry of Advanced Education will invest $58.9 million in infrastructure - a 90 per cent increase in its capital budget. Priority projects include equipment and renovations for expanded health training programs across the province and Saskatchewan Polytechnic's campus renewal project in Saskatoon.

"Investments in post-secondary education will benefit current and future students across Saskatchewan through expanded training opportunities, increased student financial aid and facility improvements," Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. "A diverse, educated workforce is essential to our strong and growing economy. We are determined to provide our students with appealing training options close to home and rewarding job opportunities that keep them in Saskatchewan."

Additional key investments in the Ministry of Advanced Education's 2023-24 Budget include:

  • $8.7 million for an electrical infrastructure upgrade project at the University of Saskatchewan;
  • $6.0 million for design and planning work for Saskatchewan Polytechnic's campus renewal project in Saskatoon; and
  • $4.0 million for renovations at the University of Saskatchewan's Dental Clinic. 

"These strategic investments focus on our labour market's most pressing needs and align with the goals and direction in Saskatchewan's Growth Plan and Health Human Resources Action Plan," Wyant said.

The 2023-24 Budget represents the third year of a four-year funding agreement with post-secondary institutions. They will receive more than $697.4 million in operating and capital grants, including: 

  • $431.8 million to the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and federated and affiliated colleges;
  • $171.1 million to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Dumont Technical Institute;
  • $35.6 million to Saskatchewan's Regional Colleges; and
  • $58.9 million for capital projects and preventative maintenance and renewal throughout the post-secondary sector.

Funding to Regional Colleges for facility improvements includes $800,000 to expand Carlton Trail College's technical learning and trades facility and $600,000 for a new shop at Northlands College.

Students will benefit directly from $47 million in financial support, a 24 per cent increase due to growing utilization of the Student Aid Fund and Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship.

Funding includes:

  • $34.5 million (a 28 per cent increase) for the Student Aid Fund, which will provide loans and grants to more than 20,000 students; and
  • $12.2 million (a 15 per cent increase) for scholarships including, $8.6 million for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship and $50,000 for new Indigenous Language Scholarships.

The Graduate Retention Program, the most generous program of its kind in the country, will continue to provide up to $20,000 in tax credits to post-secondary graduates who remain in Saskatchewan to work. More than 81,000 graduates have claimed these credits to date.

Saskatchewan has invested $13.4 billion in post-secondary institutions and student supports since 2007.

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