News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 14, 2020


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Post-Secondary Institutions Play Key Role in Protecting Manitobans as Province Emerges from COVID-19: Eichler

The Manitoba government has announced the distribution of $25.6 million through the Transitional Support Fund to help publicly funded post-secondary institutions adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“A strong and responsive post-secondary education system is essential in Manitoba’s economic recovery and these investments in post-secondary institutions will ensure our universities and colleges will continue to play a critical role in protecting Manitoba’s future,” said Eichler. “We are directly funding post-secondary priorities that align with our common goals and help us recover faster from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 
This spring, the province worked with post-secondary institutions to identify where savings could be found to dedicate resources to the provincial health response to COVID-19. In May, the Manitoba government established the one-time Transitional Support Fund to help institutions address and respond to the new fiscal and labour market realities caused by COVID-19, while creating minimal impacts to students and continuing to support positive student outcomes. 
It invited post-secondary institutions to submit detailed proposals demonstrating how funding would be used to orient programming toward labour market demands, develop high-quality online materials and tools, and respond to unanticipated changes in enrolments and other challenges posed by the pandemic. After a thorough review, the province will distribute the full value of the $25.6-million fund to help post-secondary institutions respond to pandemic-related challenges and opportunities.  
“Like all post-secondary institutions, UCN has had to radically shift how we deliver service to students, as well as how we respond to the changing labour market,” said Doug Lauvstad, president, University College of the North. “This transitional support fund will help to ensure our programs and services are responsive to students and aligned with the needs of the economy.”
The province has approved a total of 37 programming changes to ensure post-secondary alignment with Manitoba’s pandemic economic recovery goals. Program enhancements are focused on health, technology, digital film and media, business and micro-credentialing or upskilling courses.
“We thank our post-secondary institutions for their thorough and thoughtful proposals to access the one-time Transitional Support Fund,” said Eichler. “We look forward to continuing dialogue and collaboration with our post-secondary partners as we work together to restart our economy and ensure the success of Manitoba’s students.”
Allocations to each institution have been provided based on the institution’s demonstrated need resulting from the pandemic. Consideration was given to changes in enrolment, increased costs to provide online learning and the unique circumstance of each institution.
These efforts align to the goals set in the post-secondary institutions’ mandate and funding letters, the minister’s mandate letter, the October 2020 speech from the throne and the forthcoming Manitoba Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy, the minister noted.
The letters to Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions are posted at InfoMB, and can be viewed at
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