Lethbridge College, Medicine Hat College and the University of Lethbridge have formally committed to explore innovative ways to work together to improve the efficiency, quality and accessibility of southern Alberta’s post-secondary system.
The three institutions have agreed on eight Regional Collaboration Principles aimed at guiding future joint initiatives. The principles consider student needs (including a commitment to further improving learner pathways), 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,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, University of Lethbridge president and vice-chancellor. “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.”
Using the principles, the three institutions will explore innovative and creative partnerships affecting administration, services and programs.
“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,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO. “This agreement formalizes the way our institutions have worked together, and we look forward to finding new ways build on this tradition of innovation and collaboration.”
Future collaboration will allow each institution to build on its unique strengths while also clearly identifying specific roles. Each institution will continue with its current mandate in the larger post-secondary system and actively work together to minimize duplication while maximizing areas of strength.
“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,” says Kevin Shufflebotham, Medicine Hat College president and CEO. “These principles will guide our collaborative initiatives and direct how we approach projects that meet our shared and individual institutional goals.”
Regional Collaboration Guiding Principles
As post-secondary institutions, we desire the following:
- 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
- To find operational collaborative opportunities, spanning the full mandates of our institutions, to support our sustainability and protect jobs in the post-secondary sector