International News Desk

At Home: Lukaszuk out, Hancock back in.

The Alberta Government changed its cabinet today, and of interest to those of us at AU is that the former minister of Advanced Education, Thomas Lukaszuk, has been moved to the new portfolio of “Jobs, Skills, Training, and Labour.” In his place, Global news reports that Dave Hancock has been moved up to be both Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education.

Mr. Hancock has experience in this position, as it was one he handled from 2004 to 2006 under premier Ed Stelmach. During that time, he spearheaded the passing of the Access to the Future Act, which created a one billion dollar endowment fund for post-secondary education.

So, overall, this is probably bad news for AUPE, which will now have to deal with Lukaszuk’s style of “bargaining” which we witnessed recently with the drastic cuts to post-secondary education handed out with much pride and no remorse. However, it may be good news for post-secondary education as a whole, as, with Mr. Hancock, we seem to have a minister that places value on it.

Around the World: Caps on Enrolment lifted in the UK

The BBC reports that, in England, Chancellor George Osborne has announced that universities will be able to admit an extra 30,000 students next year, with the caps removed completely a year later. To fund this change, student debt is being sold to private companies. One private debt management consortium has purchased 890 million pounds (about 1.5 billion dollars) worth of student debt for 160 million pounds (or 275 million dollars). There is no word yet as to what the expected effects are upon the students whose debt is being sold.

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