By funding priority infrastructure projects, expanding training programs, and financially supporting students, Saskatchewan’s Provincial Budget for 2023–24 will improve postsecondary education. The post-secondary education sector will receive $764.8 million from the Saskatchewan government, an increase of $24.5 million, or 3.3%.
Growth that benefits everyone is facilitated by providing students with more opportunities to prepare for and pursue their preferred careers. The new money in the budget is $25.2 million, which will be used to expand training programs for important health professionals. In order to assist in meeting essential requirements of the labor market, approximately 550 seats will be added to 18 health training programs beginning in the fall of 2023.
In addition, $2.4 million will be used to train health care providers with international education, and $10 million will support the continuation of a 150-seat nursing program expansion. Five new veterinary training seats for Saskatchewan students will be supported by $539,000 in funding. These ventures are notwithstanding capital and working financing that was started in 2022-23 for these projects.
Infrastructure will receive $58.9 million from the Ministry of Advanced Education, representing a 90% increase in the capital budget. Equipment and renovations for expanded health training programs across the province, as well as the Saskatoon campus renewal project at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, are priority projects.
According to Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant, “investments in post-secondary education will benefit current and future students across Saskatchewan through expanded training opportunities, increased student financial aid, and facility improvements.” Our thriving and expanding economy is dependent on a diverse and educated workforce. Not entirely settled to furnish our understudies with engaging preparation choices up close and personal and compensating open positions that keep them in Saskatchewan.”
In the Ministry of Advanced Education’s budget for 2023-2014, additional significant investments 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.
Carlton Trail College’s technical learning and trades facility will be expanded with $800,000 from the grant to Regional Colleges for facility improvements, and Northlands College will get a new shop with $600,000 from the grant.
Due to increasing utilization of the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship and the Student Aid Fund, students will receive $47 million in direct financial assistance, an increase of 24%.
The following are included in funding:
- $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 most generous program of its kind in the country, the Graduate Retention Program, will continue to offer tax credits worth up to $20,000 to post-secondary graduates who stay in Saskatchewan to work. These credits have been claimed by more than 81,000 graduates thus far.
Since 2007, Saskatchewan has made investments totaling $13.4 billion in postsecondary institutions and student assistance.