February 21, 2014
The Government of Alberta is currently reviewing the funding framework for post-secondary institutions in our province. The funding framework is an allocation device used to distribute base or core funding, for which there are four general models used in distributing funding to university institutions: enrolment based funding, lump sum funding, output-based funding, and funding based on achieving contractual targets. Almost all provinces in Canada use more than one type of funding mechanism.
As part of our work as students in understanding the models that exist in their purest forms as well as what direction we would like to see the government proceed when reviewing the existing funding framework for Alberta post-secondary institutions CAUS has written a report titled Funding Frameworks – Understanding the methods used to finance PSE in Canada. If you are interested in reading the full report you can download it using the link at the bottom of this page.
The following recommendations arise from the report:
Provinces should adopt a multi-year perspective
An environment should be created where private giving and the entrepreneurial activities of institutions is solely to provide a “margin of excellence”
The overarching principles should be assessed carefully
An optimal policy would increase quality or enrolment while holding the level of overall university funding constant, not a funding rule that depends solely on the enrolment levels
The funding mechanisms should be few and simple
Institutions should work in collaboration with the provincial governments to establish an acceptable joint response