Feb. 28, 2023

UCalgary reacts to provincial budget

Targeted enrolment funding a ‘positive step’ toward meeting growing demand
Alberta budget 2023
Government of Alberta

Following Tuesday’s provincial budget announcement, University of Calgary President Ed McCauley described increased investment in enrolment funding and financial support for infrastructure planning as a “positive step toward meeting growing demands for UCalgary.

The budget also took positive steps toward addressing student affordability issues. However, Dr. McCauley cautioned to maintain high-quality programs and meet growing demand, further increases to operating grants will be needed to keep pace with growth.

With a graduate employment rate of over 94 per cent and a steady increase in demand for academic seats, McCauley welcomed the province’s announcement of increased funding in areas like targeted enrolment and health.

“Investments in talent are investments in Alberta’s future and we’re pleased to see money earmarked for enrolment growth, which will help us address high demand for programs that are at capacity. Calgary is a young and growing city and today’s investment helps the University of Calgary grow alongside it.”

The budget includes $20 million over three years to increase the number of physicians through medical seat expansion at both UCalgary and the University of Alberta. As well, the province set aside $5 million to start planning a new science multidisciplinary building that will serve as the campus’s primary research, teaching and collaboration hub. Once funded, the planned $215-million multidisciplinary science hub will solidify UCalgary as a world leader in science research and mobilization, and create space for over 1,000 more students.

While investments in targeted enrolment and the multidisciplinary science hub are welcome, McCauley warned that it continues to be a challenging time.

“Growth in the City of Calgary will need to be met with essential investment in teaching, learning and research. These investments grow and diversify Calgary’s economy — and more than pay for themselves over the long term,” said McCauley.

“We hope this budget is the precursor to further support from the province for an institution that helps drive our current economy while also ensuring Alberta has a prosperous and sustainable future.”

UCalgary Operating Grant 2018-19 to 2023-24 (in millions)

budget graphic

Economic impact

According to an Economic Impact Analysis conducted by Hanover Research, the University of Calgary helps to create $16.5 billion in economic impact in the City of Calgary and in Alberta. The University of Calgary is the city’s second-largest employer.