Health, education come out ahead in constrained Alberta budget – Winnipeg Free Press

EDMONTON – Health care and education came out ahead Thursday in a generally constrained Alberta provincial budget forecasting a paper-thin surplus that could easily go up in smoke.

“It is a solid budget based on measured choices,” Finance Minister Nate Horner told reporters.

Horner followed instructions from Premier Danielle Smith in delivering the 2024-25 budget, keeping spending increases below 6.2 per cent, a figure derived from the province’s rate of inflation and population growth.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith addresses a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Feb.  5, 2024. Albertans are expecting financial restraint in Thursday's provincial budget.  Premier Danielle Smith signaled a turn to less spending and more saving in a televised address last week.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith addresses a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Albertans are expecting financial restraint in Thursday’s provincial budget. Premier Danielle Smith signaled a turn to less spending and more saving in a televised address last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

That has led to a total spending forecast of $73.2 billion, a 3.9 per cent increase from last year. Horner expects a surplus of $367 million.

However, the $2 billion the government has reserved for contingencies such as drought and wildfire is about a third less than what was spent last year on those disasters. The province is expecting another dry and hot summer.

“We know we’re starting out in a rough spot,” Horner said.

“You can make (a contingency

How can universities support students’ mental health?

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As higher education comes with hope of new beginnings, it also has its fair share of challenges. It is time that universities support student’s mental health

Moving away from home and discovering a new place can feel somewhat isolating at first, and coupled with the intensity of university studies, many students may find themselves feeling low.

Therefore, it is crucial that public sector institutions, such as universities take action to protect students’ mental health.

The onus is on educational institutions to step up to the mark in order to promote safe and effective learning, which is what students come to expect.

In this article, we take a look at some of the ways in which universities can support students’ mental health in education and outside of it.

Spread awareness for student’s mental health

The first barrier to mental health support often results from a fear of judgment, particularly in universities where students may be separated from their usual support networks.

There should be no shame in seeking help, but unfortunately, although society has come a long way, there’s still a stigma surrounding mental health.

To tackle this issue, it’s important to promote awareness and encourage

Health, education and law are popular choices

Durban — Health Sciences, Bachelor of Education and law degrees continue to rank among the most popular choices of study among KwaZulu-Natal’s matriculants.

Thousands of prospective students from the matric class of 2023 applied last year to institutions of higher education in KZN to pursue tertiary studies.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal received 365034 applications from 160 059 applicants for about 9 000 first-year places.

The most popular courses are offered by the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences. There were almost 15 000 Bachelor of Education applications, while 13 000 students applied for Bachelor of Nursing, and 9 439 wanted to study Bachelor of Social Science.

The Durban University of Technology’s most popular programs were the Diploma in Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Education in Senior Phase & Further Education and Training Teaching: Languages, Diploma in Drama, Bachelor of Journalism, B Nursing, Diploma Management Sciences: Human Resources, Diploma Shipping & Logistics, Diploma in Tourism Management, B Health Science: Diagnostic Radiography and Diploma Management Sciences: Business Law.

The Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi received 96 867 applications for 3 852 undergraduate academic programs.

The most sought after courses at the institution are the Diploma in