Higher Learning & Research

Alberta is home to 26 publicly funded post-secondary educational institutions and more than 50 private career colleges. They run the gamut from small, specialized trade schools to world-class research universities. They are home to more than 200,000 students and contribute tens of billions of dollars to the economy each year. They are home to thousands of international students, many of whom stay in Alberta after their studies and seek permanent residency status and even citizenship, further contributing to the richness and diversity of the province.

This broad and deep post-secondary system is at the centre of economic and social prosperity in the province. These institutions prepare students with the knowledge and skill to ensure the continued success of Alberta’s key sectors such as agriculture, energy and healthcare. They prepare the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs — and fuel the industries of the future. They produce future innovators and leaders, the people who will have the vision to take Alberta — and the world — into the future, whatever may come.

They also shape Alberta’s cultural and social development. They feed the optimism, entrepreneurship, and ambition of all Albertans in every corner of the province, and provide the learning and training they need to realize their potential, achieve their goals, and contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Each year, Alberta’s post-secondary institutions receive more than $800 million CAD in sponsored research funding, creating solutions to global challenges and improving the quality of life.

of workers in Alberta have completed post-secondary education

38.4 YEARS
Median age of Albertans, making it the youngest province in Canada

Number of registered apprentices being trained in Alberta

Sponsored research revenue attracted by Alberta’s academic and research universities in 2019–2020

Number of innovations created with support from Alberta Innovates, the province’s largest research and innovation agency, in 2021–2022

Source: Government of Alberta


Forty-three Years of Excellence

Since 1980, the Transitional Vocational Program (TVP) at Mount Royal University, in Calgary, has been providing a variety of post-secondary programs to adults with developmental disabilities. The program, which a former university president called “the soul of Mount Royal,” has supported more than 4,000 adults in building skills that help them realize their potential.

The Employment Preparation Certificate is a full-year program that prepares students for competitive employment and community living with a combination of on-campus instruction and community-based work practicums. The TVP also offers part-time studies, with courses such as functional literacy and math, learner’s licence test preparation, life skills, introduction to computer coding, basic living skills and more. It has been well received by employers, many of whom have found capable and loyal employees after hiring TVP graduates.

To Space, and Beyond!

For five years, students at the University of Alberta have been building Ex-Alta 2, a small satellite that will be carried by a SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral, in Florida, to the International Space Station. From there, it will be launched into space for its year-long mission taking images of wildfires and their after-effects around the world.

Ex-Alta 2 has a customized, student-engineered and -built camera onboard to take images of active wildfires, postburn effects and vegetation analysis. The data will be available on an open-source basis for anyone who wishes to access it.

The satellite was created through the efforts of hundreds of students from faculties as diverse as engineering, computer programming, science and business. Ex-Alta 2 is part of the Canadian CubeSat Project, an initiative of the Canadian Space Agency designed to support student interest in space and provide valuable hands-on experience in the space industry.