Unlocking Alberta’s Potential:

Social Policy Framework

July 26, 2012

Recognizing education as a solution to many of our social issues is essential to any Social Policy Framework. The benefits of education, especially post-secondary, are well documented, spanning from improved income and health, to increased participation in the community. Although Alberta’s post-secondary institutions are world leaders, too often access to our own system is blocked to those from the lowest income brackets.

We are suggesting three approaches of integrating post-secondary education into Alberta’s Social Policy Framework: improving the opportunities of under-represented groups in our post-secondary education to attend; improving the opportunities of students already in our system to succeed and complete their programs; and increase the opportunities of those who graduate from our post-secondary system to lead their communities and give back to their society. All of which speak to the theme of harnessing the full potential of our province by increasing our post-secondary participation rate, at present the lowest in Canada.


Unlocking Alberta’s Potential:

Post-Secondary’s Promise to Transform Our Communities

June 1, 2012

Following the beginnings of economic recovery, Alberta is facing new challenges and opportunities. Across our country Canadians are talking about the role universities and university students are going to play in our society. From the streets of Montreal to the recent Alberta election post-secondary education is being talked about as the long-term solution to securing our potential as a world leader.

Students’ unions worked hard in the last election to get students out to vote, ensuring that their voice would be heard on April 23. As government returns to work, we look forward to implementing the government’s mandate with an eye to improving Alberta’s post-secondary participation rate, which currently is the lowest in Canada.


Securing Alberta’s Future

March 19, 2012

Our province stands at an important crossroads, one where the decisions we take today will have an enormous impact in the decades to come on choices facing our economy and our society. Our education system, from kindergarten all the way to post-secondary education is at the heart of many of those choices.

The upcoming provincial election and dialogue within our communities offer the perfect opportunity to talk about where our post-secondary education system is going, how it is inspiring Albertans to reach their potential and the needed supports and resources that are required to fulfill the promise of a post-secondary education that is high-quality, affordable, and accessible. We met with decision-makers from across the province to reinforce that need, and provide solutions, and here’s what we have to say:

From the Back of the Pack to the Top of the Class

October 12, 2011

Alberta is a province with tremendous opportunity: our provincial government is debt free; we have unparalleled natural resources and beauty; and we have an economy that has weathered the economic downturn, ready to lead Canada in growth. Our post-secondary system is an important part of that opportunity and is well-placed to help overcome the challenges that we face.

Today, Alberta has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in Canada; fewer Albertans go on to formal education than in any other province. This budget is the right moment to work on a goal we have been talking about for the past year: to improve our post-secondary participation rate.


Setting Priorities for Post-Secondary Education in Alberta

June 2011

This year represents an unparalleled opportunity for our province and our post-secondary students. The economic challenges have reinforced the need to invest in post-secondary education and its students in order to have a diverse, knowledge-based economy that can thrive in a global marketplace. Click below to learn more.


Showing Educational Leadership

March 2011

The choices we make in the coming months are going to be vital for the future of our province. Our universities, colleges, technical institutes, and most importantly, the graduates of those institutions, are going to be the driving force of our economy and society. We need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to get more Albertans into post-secondary education and ensure the complete their studies. Click below to learn more.

Fees and Referenda:

November 23, 2010

Alberta has the highest non-instructional mandatory fees in Canada, at $818 on top of tuition for the average undergraduate. This is due in large part to imposition of new fees at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary of $290 and $450 a year respectively. Those increases are permitted due to the government’s lax rules surrounding new fees.

The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) believes the Government of Alberta should immediately pass a regulation that covers non-instructional fees, providing limits and collegial mechanisms to govern the creation and increase of those fees, as well as a clear delineation between fees governed by the Tuition Fee Policy and those that are not.

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Alberta’s Minimum Wage:

Certainty and Predictability Remain a Priority for Students

June 2010

It was a surprise to many, including post-secondary students, when the Government of Alberta reversed the previous commitment to raise our province’s minimum wage in February and freeze it at $8.80 per hour. Tying Alberta’s minimum wage to the average weekly earnings was important for those students who are working part-time or during the summer to save for school. We would encourage Alberta to continue to use that model. Click below to learn more.

Setting the Rules on Non-Instructional Fees

April 2010

Historically, Alberta’s research universities have levied comparatively low non-instructional fees and focused those fees on additional services that are beyond the normal campus experience. These fees were implemented after consultation with students and a student referendum. That accountability is in jeopardy as these universities are moving to levy unjustified mandatory fees that add no value to the student experience, taking advantage of the legal loophole the present regulations and guidelines have left open. Click below to learn more.


Students and Democracy

September 9, 2009
Voting is the basis of our democracy, the political act that gives the actions of the government their legitimacy and power. Unfortunately our most recent provincial election saw only 40.6% of eligible voters coming out to the polls and even fewer young Albertans. The democratic system itself is partially to blame for this poor turnout, particularly among post-secondary students. There are numerous barriers for students to get through in order to vote.

Fortunately, there are some clear and easy changes that the Government of Alberta and Elections Alberta can do before the next provincial election to make it easier for post-secondary students to vote. The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS), representing students at the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge are making five recommendations to break down the barriers to voting by Alberta’s post-secondary students.