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Provincial budget reports: Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan capped off its four-year funding agreement with universities while the NDP government of Manitoba released its first budget.


As the new fiscal year gets underway, Canadian provinces and territories have rolled out their spending plans for 2024-25. University Affairs scoured each of the budget documents and extracted what has been earmarked for the higher education sector. Below is a summary of what the Prairie provinces have earmarked for higher ed spending. We have also done budget summaries of the Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Quebec, as well as the western provinces and Yukon.


On April 2, Manitoba released its budget, with the New Democratic Party government committing $949,730 million for advanced education and training – an increase of $60 million from what was forecasted.

The province is also providing:

  • $78.9 million in federally funded child-care centres in schools and postsecondary institutions to increase child-care spaces
  • $43 million to support postsecondary students with training for their careers
  • $26.6 million for more medical training seats at the University of Manitoba
  • $1.2 million in 2024-25 for the Advancing Futures Program, which provides dedicated financial assistance to youth formerly in care to access higher education
  • A capital investment in the Science Centre at Brandon University to begin training doctors
  • An increase to the Manitoba Student Aid fund by $9 million
  • A matching program called the Manitoba Scholarship Bursary Initiative in which the government will match private donations for scholarships and bursaries for postsecondary students up to $10.5 million


The U of M will receive a two per cent increase to its operating funding.  President and Vice-Chancellor Michael Benarroch said the U of M welcomes the provincial investment in it medical school. Brandon University President David Docherty was also pleased with the province’s planned expansion of a medical school in Brandon, however he noted that many details remain unknown. The Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations said in a statement it welcomes the $43 million in postsecondary training opportunities but that the investment does “not adequately make up for the years of neglect of the postsecondary sector by consecutive governments.”


The Saskatchewan Party led by Premier Scott Moe tabled its provincial budget on March 20. It expects to spend $793 million on postsecondary education in 2024-25, an increase of 3.7 per cent from 2023-24. The province is now in the final year of a four-year funding agreement with postsecondary institutions that totals $687 million.

Funding to the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina increased to $492.7 million in 2024-25, up from $431.8 million in 2023-24. The province  also provided a one-time $12 million increase to operating funding for postsecondary institutions to “remain responsive to the needs of students, communities and the labour market.”

The budget also committed:

  • $59 million in 2024-25 for infrastructure support, maintenance and renewal for postsecondary institutions
  • $3.6 million in 2024-25 for the U of S to launch three new master’s programs in speech language pathology, physician assistance and occupational therapy
  • $1.6 million to add eight new undergraduate medical education seats, as well as $3.8 million to add new residency training seats in high-demand areas funded through the ministry of health
  • $8.7 million for mechanical and electrical upgrades at the U of S
  • Through the ministry of health, the government is providing $3.8 million to add new residency training seats in areas like family medicine, anesthesia and psychiatry, as well as new academic staff
  • $6.3 million for a cooling tower replacement at the U of R
  • $610,000 for the U of R to expand the student health care centre


Both the U of S and the U of R reacted positively to the budget and the one-time $12 million increase, of which the two universities will receive $5.7 million and $2.4 million respectively. U of R President Jeff Keshen said that the top up will help the university offset inflationary pressure. However, the University of Regina Students’ Union released a statement saying that students are in “dire need of increased investments,” noting that per student funding is 63 per cent below the national average and that students pay the second highest tuition fees in the country.

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