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Updated: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:38:42 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Province, universities agree to end war of words



Province, universities agree to end war of words

The government and post-secondary institutions will work together on changes despite harsh words after the province slashed funding to universities, colleges and technical institutes.

Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk met with 26 presidents of post-secondary institutions Thursday and says they all agree on moving forward.

The province wants more cooperation, less duplication and a bigger emphasis on research which can be used for commercial purposes.

U of A president Indira Samarasekera said the presidents will now meet on a regular basis.

"We will be looking at how we manage the budget situation with respect to minimizing the damage and the impact on our students our faculty our staff and our programs and at the same time looking at how we work together to identify what might be some system outcomes."

That could mean programs or faculties could be dropped.

Lukaszuk said those decisions are up to the schools without government interference.

Lukaszuk also pushed the schools to refrain from raising student fees to make up for lost revenue.

"We have also agreed that there will be no tuition increase for students this year at all," he said. "We have also agreed to strongly suggest to student unions that they also not increase their student union fees on to students this year to minimize any financial impact on students."

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