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Above Average: Alberta's Post-Secondary Education Spending

Advanced education will be the focus of cuts to provincial funding, and Alberta’s budget indicates that funding allocations for post-secondary institutions will be tied to outcomes starting in 2020/21. 

This edition of Graphic Intelligence shows Alberta’s spending over the Canada-wide average on post-secondary education per student.

While Alberta’s budget does not disclose what performance metrics will be the focus, the Institute has recently published research on international experience with performance-based funding. The Institute’s Alberta Shadow Budget argued that linking funding to post-graduate employment outcomes is appropriate to incent institutions to competitively deliver programs that successfully enhance students’ human capital.  The Alberta government plans to give institutions flexibility with how they rationalize spending in this setting – and benchmarking of Alberta’s over-spending in advanced education relative to other provinces is driven by non-faculty expenditures – particularly administrative overhead and other operations. 

To learn more about Alberta’s 2019 budget and 2019-2023 fiscal plan, read “Alberta budget 2019 plots a bold path to rebalance provincial finances” and Decision Time: The Alberta Shadow Budget 2019 by Grant Bishop.