Lakeland College’s President Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart is calling the provincial government’s new performance-based funding model a good thing.

“We’re happy to work with the Alberta government to develop performance measurement criteria (KPI) to really build the strength of our province and our post-secondary institution.”

On January 20, the province announced that a portion of government funding will be given to colleges and universities based on achieving key performance measures. Beginning April 1, up to 15 per cent will be based on the performance measures with it increasing to 40 per cent by 2022.

Some examples of the measures the Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides detailed were graduate employment rate, enrolment growth and graduate skills and competencies. Dr. Wainwright-Stewart says the model falls in line with some of the measures they’ve already been tracking.

“The performance measures which they’ve identified really help with what we’re already doing. We have a graduate survey where 97 per cent in 2019 said that they were confident that they had the knowledge and skills to gain employment.”

She also points at their employer survey which found over 95 per cent of employers would recommend a Lakeland graduate and their graduate follow-up which showed 93 per cent of graduates were still employed after graduating in 2016.

“I think we can hold our own based on the information we currently have. We have been working for the last five years anticipating things are going to change and being proactive in reducing our spending.”

Dr. Wainwright-Stewart believes the new model will help reinforce that the school’s graduates are a benefit to the local economy.

“These KPIs, what it’s going to do for our local taxpayers is say Lakeland is results-based. I think it’s going to give the [people] in our region more understanding of just what they have here and that we try to use our taxpayers money as wisely as we can to ensure our future students are educated in a way that they’re going to be sustainable and contribute to our economy.”

Nicolaides says each school will have uniquely weighted metrics as each institution has different requirements and capabilities. He says he will be meeting with all 26 post-secondary schools in the coming months to finalize the model.

Dr. Wainwright-Stewart will be meeting with presidents from all the other post-secondaries in the province on January 24 in Edmonton to discuss the new model further.