It came as a shock.

The Alberta government announcing that starting in 2020 it would be pulling its $8 million dollars in funding for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

Alberta then plans to reallocate $4.7 million dollars per year into the program at the University of Calgary.

Dean Dr Douglas Freeman says with the loss of funding they will have to re-evaluate their funding models, programs and services:

"Obviously the money is terribly important. It represents 25 per cent of our shared operating budget, that is not easy to replace. And so that will be a challenge."

Freeman says the Veterinary College is recognized worldwide for the quality of its education.

A Federal Interprovincial funding agreement has been in place for over 50 years; but last week Alberta announced its pulling its $8 million dollars in funding beginning in 2020.

Dean Dr Douglas Freeman says that represents 25% of their shared operating budget and trying to replace it will be a challenge:

"Any academic program has a limited number of primary sources of revenue, and tuition is one of those. So that will certainly be something we have to look at. On the flip side, professional education is expensive. Student debt load is an issue that is always in front of us."

Tuition and fees for the Veterinary course at the college is about $10,000 a year; it’s a 4 year course with a typical class of about 80 students a year.


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