January 20th, 2021

Southern Alberta post-secondary schools establish set of principles

By Kuhl, Nick on January 28, 2020.

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald


Three southern Alberta post-secondary institutions, including Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge, have agreed on a set of principles to guide future collaboration.

The two Lethbridge schools have joined Medicine Hat College to formally commit to explore innovative ways to work together to improve the efficiency, quality and accessibility of southern Alberta’s post-secondary system, they said in a joint news release Monday.

The three institutions have agreed on eight Regional Collaboration Principles including student needs, regional economic goals, industry needs, Indigenous community priorities, southern Alberta communities’ needs and provincial government goals.

“Our institutions have a strong history of working together,” said Mike Mahon, University of Lethbridge president and vice-chancellor, in the news release. “We are collectively committed to finding efficiencies that support and enhance the student experience and do so within the new fiscal reality facing our province.”

“Each of our institutions has distinct specializations and areas of expertise that can help us create a collaborative post-secondary ecosystem in southern Alberta that truly puts our students first,” said Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO, in the release. “This agreement formalizes the way our institutions have worked together, and we look forward to finding new ways to build on this tradition of innovation and collaboration.”

“Medicine Hat College believes in the strength of collaboration within the post-secondary system. Our goals are the same: provide education, experiences and opportunities that prepare students for the future,” said Kevin Shufflebotham, Medicine Hat College president and CEO, in the release. “These principles will guide our collaborative initiatives and direct how we approach projects that meet our shared and individual institutional goals.”

The full list of Regional Collaboration Guiding Principles is as follows:

– To create an ecosystem of post-secondary learning that supports Government of Alberta goals while operating as independent institutions;

– To increase participation and retention in post-secondary education through domestic and international recruitment strategies and student support services;

– To ensure success for learners through a seamless pathway between certificate, diploma and bachelor programs, as well as opportunities to progress to graduate studies;

– To enable access to work integrated learning opportunities across southern Alberta;

– To support regional economic development by aligning programming with the needs of industry;

– To support the health and vibrancy of our rural communities by working together to enhance access and develop programming relevant to the rural economy

– To further develop partnerships with Indigenous communities that support regional reconciliation and Indigenous learner success; and

– To find operational collaborative opportunities, spanning the full mandates of our institutions, to support our sustainability and protect jobs in the post-secondary sector.

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