BUDGET 2020: Students Applaud Continued Post-Secondary Mental Health Funding and Increased Supports for International Students, Remain Concerned About Funding Cuts and Tuition Increases

February 27, 2020

For Immediate Release

Edmonton, AB – Today, the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC) is satisfied to see the government renew post-secondary mental health funding in budget 2020, and remains committed to improving the affordability of education.

Budget 2020 renews the Post-Secondary Mental Health Grant, funding which comes in addition to $22 million in mental health funding announced in November 2019. The grant supports mental health initiatives and programs on campuses, as well as training opportunities such as ASIST, Mental Health First Aid, Peer Support, and First Responder to Sexual Violence training.

“Students are greatly relieved to know that another $8.8 million in funding for mental health has been extended, which is on top of the $22 million in mental health support that was announced at our institution earlier this winter.” -NAITSA President Elect, Aleksandra Jaruga.

While ASEC is encouraged to see these investments, the budget also delivers expected post-secondary funding cuts and tuition increases, impacting the affordability and accessibility of education. Alberta students understand the difficult times our province is facing and hope to work with the government to ensure every Albertan has the opportunity to attain post-secondary education. In addition, the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Program and Alberta Advantage Immigration Strategy are positive changes to the system.

“ASEC is pleased to see two new programs designed to attract and retain top international student talent. These programs are exactly what Alberta needs. ASEC encourages the Government of Alberta to continue down this path and implement ASEC’s “Alberta Graduate Retention” recommendation which would improve Alberta’s low post-secondary uptake.” -ASEC Executive Director, Jonathan Bilodeau.


ASEC represents more than 100,000 college, polytechnic, and university students across Alberta and looks forward to working with the government to continue advancing open educational resources and an improved post-secondary transfer system.

For more information, contact:

Emmanauel Barker, Director of Public Relations and Advocacy

advocacy@albertastudents.ca / 780 913-2732