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Cash for schools latest vow

Premier promises $27.9 million for universities, colleges

Premier Greg Selinger announces new university and colleges funding grants Thursday.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Premier Greg Selinger announces new university and colleges funding grants Thursday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/1/2016 (1381 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Selinger government opened the vaults Thursday to provide $27.9 million for cash-strapped universities and colleges -- a four per cent overall increase that includes more than $10 million extra for indigenous education and other targeted spending.

Premier Greg Selinger announced operating grants will rise by 2.5 per cent for universities and two per cent for colleges.

Those levels have been standard in recent years, even in tough economic times, but what had post-secondary presidents beaming at Thursday's news conference at the University of Winnipeg was Selinger's promise the rest of the new money will go to indigenous education, student support and training for specific jobs.

As with every dollar of education funding Selinger and Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum are announcing this week in a whirlwind of promises, universities and colleges are only guaranteed they'll see the money if the NDP is re-elected April 19.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/1/2016 (1381 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Selinger government opened the vaults Thursday to provide $27.9 million for cash-strapped universities and colleges — a four per cent overall increase that includes more than $10 million extra for indigenous education and other targeted spending.

Premier Greg Selinger announced operating grants will rise by 2.5 per cent for universities and two per cent for colleges.

Those levels have been standard in recent years, even in tough economic times, but what had post-secondary presidents beaming at Thursday's news conference at the University of Winnipeg was Selinger's promise the rest of the new money will go to indigenous education, student support and training for specific jobs.

As with every dollar of education funding Selinger and Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum are announcing this week in a whirlwind of promises, universities and colleges are only guaranteed they'll see the money if the NDP is re-elected April 19.

Conservative education critic Wayne Ewasko said Manitobans will have to wait for the election campaign to learn what the Tories will do for postsecondary education.

"You don't know how bad the books are — you know they're bad. They're promising the moon, they're vote-buying," Ewasko said.

Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari said she will honour the NDP's commitment and in future years will consult with the education system "to ensure we are using current education dollars effectively and that any future investments make sense."

Allum said in an interview the NDP decided against lifting the cap on tuition fees, which the New Democrats previously legislated could only increase by the level of inflation.

University of Manitoba president David Barnard, U of W president Annette Trimbee and Assiniboine Community College president Mark Frison all heaped praise on the province while participating in the formal announcement of funding for the first time.

Previously, unlike the public school system annual announcement, post-secondary money was included in the provincial budget much later in the winter or spring, with no separate event to unveil the grants.

Selinger emphasized repeatedly the province has responded to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by providing significant additional dollars for indigenous education.

Reconciliation requires "sitting down and understanding each other. That can only be done by providing education," said Selinger, who said indigenous students' ability to acquire graduate degrees is especially critical.

Frison said academics across the country are despairing their grants are being reduced, while "Ours has gone up every year."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 8:08 AM CST: Updates with full writethru

8:28 AM: Adds photo, adds sidebar

12:56 PM: Corrects subheadline

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