The President's Blog

Adapting to new realities

May 15th, 2017

Over the course of the last few weeks, much of the focus in Saskatchewan has centered on the impact of the provincial budget. The impact on students, staff, and the communities served by Parkland College has been profound.

From a student perspective, programs were eliminated or scaled back to meet the directives stated in the budget announcement. From a staff perspective, job loss and the reduction of hours/days of work were required in order to adjust to a rollback of almost 14 per cent in provincial government funding. The reduction in the number of education and training opportunities provided has not been experienced to this degree in the history of Parkland College.

Parkland College had no choice but to adapt to the new realities created by the 2017 provincial budget. We will be able to manage and work to replace government funding with revenue from other sources. As an institution, we will cope and adjust to the new reality.

However, the real concern lies in the long-term impact the budget will have on our learners and communities. At the outset, it appears as though the provincial budget has made essential programming for many learners less accessible. For many of our learners, the placement of one additional barrier in their path towards personal development and economic independence will be enough to halt or stall their pursuit of educational opportunities. This will not only have negative personal consequences but will also be detrimental to the wellbeing of our province as a whole.

The provincial budget has presented a challenge – the challenge to do more with less and find a way to thrive as an educational institution. I do believe we will meet the challenge. I also believe we need to find a way to advocate for the importance of education as a whole. The cuts to advanced education and our school systems resulting from the 2017 provincial budget have made it even clearer that institutions like Parkland College must make it a priority to advocate for strong government investment in education.

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