The budget also provides $46.6 million for infrastructure to help ensure Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions continue to meet the challenges of growth and accommodate the needs of students. This is a 43 per cent increase over 2014-15 and 68 per cent increase over 2007.
Since 2007-08, the provincial government has provided $477.5 million in capital funding to post-secondary institutions. Capital projects receiving funding in 2015-16 include:
- $23.6 million for preventative maintenance and renewal, a 14.6 per cent increase over last year;
- $10.6 million for renovation and expansion of Southeast College in Weyburn;
- $7.9 million for the Health Sciences facility at the University of Saskatchewan; and
- $4.5 million for the new Parkland College Trades and Technology Centre in Yorkton.
“Our preventative maintenance and renewal fund will assist post-secondary institutions to make necessary repairs to their facilities and to replace equipment,” Doherty said. “We are also providing capital funding for several major projects over the next year that will provide more opportunities for students and help to meet the province’s labour market needs.”
The budget provides an additional $2.5 million to fulfill the government’s commitment for more medical training seats in three areas. The budget continues to fund 40 additional medical undergraduate seats to bring the total to 100; 60 medical residency seats to bring the total to 120; and an additional 20 nurse practitioner seats to bring the total to 40.
The budget also provides continued funding for 690 nursing training seats in the province. The government fulfilled its commitment to increase nursing education training seats by 300 in 2013.
Other budget initiatives include $200,000 to support the first year of operation of the Parkland Trades and Technology Center and $412,000 for expanded internet bandwidth at regional colleges.
The government’s strong commitment to students continues through an array of support programs. This includes:
- $32.5 million for the Student Aid Fund including student loans, grants and bursaries;
- $9.0 million for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship, an increase of $2.3 million;
- $5.5 million for other scholarships;
- $6.5 million for the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings; and
- $88.1 million in non-refundable tax credits for the Graduate Retention Program.
Total funding transfers to post-secondary institutions are $708 million in 2015-16. This includes operating, capital and targeted program funding. Operating funding to technical institutes and federated colleges will increase by 2.0 per cent. Operating funding to the University of Regina, affiliated colleges, and regional colleges will increase by 1.0 per cent.
Due to significant operating savings accumulated at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), the provincial budget will reduce the total operating grant to the U of S by $14.7 million as a one-time fiscal restraint measure. This decision was made in co-operation with the U of S and they have confirmed they have operating savings in place to manage this reduction without affecting services for students.
“We continue to meet the challenges of our growing province by investing in post-secondary education and helping to make education more accessible and affordable for our students,” Doherty said.
For more information, contact: