The scale is tipping towards Red Deer College becoming a polytechnic rather than a university.
Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides said allowing Red Deer College to become a university would put trades programs in jeopardy which would create a gap in programming.
“(University status) would place important and necessary programs at risk, such as the trades, as they do not fit in a university mandate. Students in the trades and in other vital programs would be forced to travel outside these regions to pursue their education,” said Nicolaides in a recent statement.
Both Red Deer and Grande Prairie colleges were promised university status by the NDP government in 2018, but Nicolaides said there were advantages to becoming polytechnics instead.
“The advantage of a polytechnic over a university is that polytechnics may offer degree programs and trades programs in the same institution, ensuring that both groups of students are served, that employers throughout the region have access to the talented workers they need, and that more young people can remain in the community if they choose.”
He said the provincial review of the post-secondary system Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs is still examining several options for the facilities, and “a final decision has not been made regarding a transition to polytechnic status.”
“I look forward to presenting the final Alberta 2030 strategy in the coming months,” Nicolaides said.