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Olds College Response to 2022 Provincial Budget

March 01, 2022

Olds College continues to work with the Government of Alberta and Alberta’s Post-Secondary community to deliver the education, training and applied research needed to support the Province’s economic and social prosperity. Our institution values the funding that it receives from the government as it serves its Mission to ensure that “Alberta’s agriculture community has the talent, knowledge and thought leadership to lead globally.”

Olds College’s Campus Alberta Base Grant was reduced in Budget 2022 by 3.2%. This is less than what was projected by the Government (3.5%) and is the last reduction of a four year cycle which started in 2019.

We are pleased that our Post-Secondary Mental Health, Students with Disabilities and Apprenticeship Technical Training grants all remained the same with no reductions and are appreciative of the $2.3 million in Capital Maintenance and Renewal funding.

While funding reductions are challenging, Olds College continues to work hard to increase its alternative revenue sources, while finding efficiencies. Over the last three years, Olds College has reduced its administrative spend by 23%, while continuing to lead the College and Polytechnic sector in own source revenue. During that period of time our Campus Alberta Grant dependency has declined from over 55% to less than 40% of our overall budget. 

Olds College would like to congratulate the Government of Alberta for their targeted investments through the Alberta at Work initiative, including toward grants for low income students and increasing training opportunities for Indigenous people, as well as apprenticeship expansion, expanding reskilling and upskilling opportunities and increasing work integrated learning opportunities. 

Of significant note is the investment of $171 million over the next three years to expand post-secondary enrolment in sectors with skills shortages. This program will fund 7,000 additional seats in areas such as technology, agriculture, finance, health and aviation. 

“Olds College is pleased to see the targeted investment toward increased enrollment in programming that will enhance Alberta’s economic recovery,” comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “Agriculture has been specifically identified for additional seats, through the Government of Alberta’s investment of $171 million, which is good news for an industry that is a key driver of economic activity and job creation and which is already experiencing a shortage of talent.” 

“Rocky Mountain Equipment (RME) supports the government’s investment towards targeted enrollment in agriculture,” comments Jim Wood, Chief Sales and Operations Officer, Rocky Mountain Equipment. “As a company that is constantly looking for talent across a cross-section of fields, including precision agriculture, information technology, business, etc., it is critical that our agriculture focused post-secondaries are producing more graduates to serve the needs of Alberta based agriculture companies. We look forward to seeing this program lead to more post-secondary graduates in the year’s ahead.”

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