The History of Post-Secondary Finance in Alberta - An Analysis


  • Calvin Hauserman
  • Sheldon Stick


Post-secondary systems throughout Canada and the United States have struggled with funding issues during most of the last decade of the 20th Century, and the new millennium did not open with great enthusiasm for change. This article examines the impact of post-secondary education funding changes in Alberta, Canada, by tracing the historical development of funding initiatives. Historically, the province has relied extensively upon federal financial support to maintain programs of higher education, but that support has diminished as the federal government reduced transfer payments for social programs to all provinces. The decrease in federal funding coincided with the Alberta Government’s initiative to reduce the provincial fiscal deficit. Concomitantly, the provincial government sought to impose performance-based funding, and emphasized a business-planning model upon public colleges and universities. The nature of the government actions is analyzed in relation to the concepts of efficiency of teaching, goodness of fit, and value-for-money.