Red Deer College president, Joel Ward, says it will at least be three years until Red Deer College has “university” in its title. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Tuition freeze doesn’t faze Red Deer College

A fourth year of a tuition freeze didn’t pour ice over Red Deer College president Joel Ward’s enthusiasm for the institution’s pending university status.

In Thursday’s Throne Speech, the Alberta government talked about the college’s path to degree granting status, but also committed to a fourth year of a tuition freeze.

But Ward wasn’t too upset by it, saying the NDP government has an unparalleled commitment to post-secondary education.

“I’ve dealt with governments over the years of all stripes,” said Ward. “These guys, in three years, they have been very good to post-secondary education.

“They were the first government that had the courage to make the decision to allow us to become a university. Other governments turned us down every single time.”

Although mentioned in the Throne Speech, the announcement that the college will become a university came a week prior. Still, both Red Deer City Manager Craig Curtis and Red Deer And District Chamber of Commerce President Robin Bobocel called it a major economic win for the city.

Ward was still bolstered by the decision that will have long-term impacts, saying it could double the institution’s enrolment in 10 years.

However, post-secondary funding typically comes from three sources: government grants, ancillary fees and tuition.

“The reality is, we’ve known about this for years,” said Ward. “The model is challenged because our revenue sources are restricted and two of them are beyond our control. Almost 80 per cent of our revenue is beyond our control to influence.”

Ward said tuition tends to be around 24 per cent of our revenue, grants around 53 per cent and ancillary fees ranging from 20 to 25 per cent of RDC’s revenue.

“We continue to balance our budget, we continue to show small surpluses every year, we continue to build and expand,” said Ward. “At some point it’s going to come back and say ‘what do we need to do now to have our revenue match our expenses.’ That will be the challenge in the very near future.

“We’ll be OK I think for a couple more years.”

Despite the freeze, Ward said the government backfilled the college. They gave the college as much money as they lost from the tuition freeze. Though, Ward said they can’t expect that every year.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Updated: Red Deer man sentenced to six years for stabbing death

Shane Dion McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter for February 2016 slaying

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Canadians support strict restrictions on pot packaging: Health Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government says the Canadian public broadly supports the… Continue reading

Mali choppers face crash threats, but can shoot back at militants: Vance

OTTAWA — Given prior experience, the Canadian helicopter contingent bound for Mali… Continue reading

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Rebels Fan Fest set for Wednesday

Time to cheer on the Rebels; Tickets on sale for WHL playoffs

Uber self-driving vehicle hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona; Company stops tests

TEMPE, Ariz. — Uber says it has suspended all of its self-driving… Continue reading

Tories want debate on 12-month mission to support UN mission in Mali

OTTAWA — Canada’s official Opposition wants a full parliamentary debate on the… Continue reading

Brand of lean ground beef recalled due to possible presence of E. coli

OTTAWA — A brand of lean ground beef is being recalled because… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month