Three projects related to post-secondary education in French in Saskatchewan are receiving funding from the federal and Saskatchewan governments.
The announcement included a total of $7.1 million to go towards the construction, renovation and development of post-secondary educational spaces, along with increasing the availability of programs that serve official-language minority communities in the province.
“Our current and future students will be able to benefit from a quality French-language education through a variety of programs, courses and services, while studying in modern facilities that support their academic success,” Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of official languages, said.
Over $3.5 million of the funds will go towards stabilizing and consolidating francophone post-secondary programs at the University of Regina’s La Cité universitaire francophone in Gravelbourg.
The first project will consolidate francophone post-secondary programs at La Cité universitaire francophone and Collège Mathieu in Saskatchewan by increasing the number of programs and courses offered.
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Funding will also be used for the renovation of De Mazenod Hall at Collège Mathieu, which will include the restoration of classrooms, conference rooms and a library. The building will also undergo additional upgrades, including repairs to the drainage, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
The government of Canada is contributing a total of $1,060,000 to this project.
“It is essential that post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan are able to offer appropriate learning environments and superior programs that meet the emerging needs of French-language students,” Gordon Wyant, minister of advanced education for Saskatchewan, said.
In the final project, there will be modernization of classrooms, meeting rooms and community spaces at the La Cité universitaire francophone.
This infrastructure project will modernize the spaces and provide a quality teaching environment to meet the growing demand of the Fransaskois community, according to the press release. The spaces will be renovated with a view to hosting community cultural activities.
Equipment to allow hybrid teaching, distance learning and simultaneous translation services will be installed. The project aims to improve the student population’s learning environment and create new opportunities for collaboration with the francophone community through larger and more modern community spaces.
The government of Canada is providing $133,525 for this project, alongside support from the government of Saskatchewan.
The three projects are funded through the Canada–Saskatchewan Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction 2019–20 to 2022–23, which is made possible largely through the new investments provided in Budget 2021.
La Cité universitaire francophone constitutes the main hub for French-language university programming, research and services offered at the University of Regina and across the province.
Collège Mathieu, established in 1918, is the only French-language technical and professional educational institution in Saskatchewan. Collège Mathieu and the Le Lien centre are primarily dedicated to providing post-secondary education at the college level and to disseminating French-language cultural and educational resources.