For Immediate Release

Alberta Students Find Government of Ontario Announcement Concerning

January 18, 2019 (Edmonton) - Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced sweeping changes to student financial aid, tuition, and students’ association membership. Low and middle income grants will be replaced by additional loans, tuition will decrease by 10% without backfill funding, and non mandatory fees will be made optional.

As an organization that advocates for greater affordability, accessibility, quality, and the increased role of the student voice, the Alberta Student Executive Council is alarmed.

“This announcement is very concerning,” said Jon Mastel Government Relations and Advocacy Director for the Alberta Student Executive Council. “It is a trifecta of student debt, educational quality, and stifling the voice of students. And this is being spun as a win for students.”

The Government of Ontario appears to be transferring their budget difficulties onto the backs of post-secondary students. Alberta students are concerned similar strategies may be utilized here. Post-secondary education funding in Alberta saw cuts as recently as 2013.

Student organizations in Ontario have long advocated improvements to their post-secondary education system, now that continued student engagement has been brought into question. Without campus student organizations which are operated by and for students - they will not have this ability to speak out.

“Students’ Associations are a valuable and integral part of a college or university campuses,” explained Mastel. “We advocate to improve the students experience through bipartisan support as was seen here in Alberta with Bill 19.”

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For more information, contact:

Jon Mastel, ASEC

Government Relations and Advocacy Director


For Immediate Release

Alberta Students’ Executive Council

Students Applaud Release of Tuition Policy

October 29, 2018 - Edmonton, AB

Alberta Students (ASEC) are excited the Government of Alberta has taken steps to ensure a post-secondary education remains affordable and accessible for all Albertans.

"Affordability has always been a concern of post-secondary students," stated Brandon Vollweiter, ASEC Board member. "We are happy the Government is moving to ensure a post-secondary education is affordable for all students regardless of where they study in the province."

"Alberta Students are happy that the government has extended the freeze on tuition and will be better regulating non-instructional fees and international tuition," Vollweiter continued.

ASEC has been advocating for an updated and legislated tuition policy to protect students from dramatic increases for a number of years. With the Government moving the tuition regulation into the Post-secondary Learning Act (PSLA), students are now able to predict what their tuition and fees will be for over the course of their education.

"With the new policy in legislation, amendments to the policy will have to come before the assembly and cannot be simply changed at the whim of a Cabinet meeting," stated Jon Mastel, Government Relations and Advocacy Director. "This is a win for all students."

Alberta Students have requested a number of changes to the PSLA to ensure Students' Association can continue to play a strong role in advocating for a strong, sustainable post-secondary system.

"Alberta Students are very pleased the Government has consulted with us and have once again acted to support students and their families," expressed Vollweiter. "After all, an education benefits the family and society as much as the student them self."

The Alberta Student Executive Council represents over 100,000 students across the province from 15 Universities, Colleges, and Technical Institutes.


Media Request:

Jon Mastel, ASEC

Government Relations and Advocacy Director


For Immediate Release 

Statement by the Alberta Students' Executive Council Chair Allannah Wrobel on Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation Grant

August 9th, 2016 – Edmonton, Alberta

Allannah Wrobel, Chair of the Alberta Students' Executive Council, made the following statement today regarding the Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation Grant:

“In 2013 the Alberta Students' Executive Council received $2 million in order to build mental health initiatives on campuses across Alberta. Since 2013 student-lead mental health initiatives have reached over 215,000 students at 17 post-secondary institutions across Alberta.

“Through the Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation Grant the Alberta Students' Executive Council has forged working relationships with nearly 1000 campus and community partners in order to provide mental health resources to students – over 800 campaigns and events, 60 services new to campuses, and training for hundreds of peer support students.

“These initiatives have facilitated the Alberta Students' Executive Council to work together with student leaders and address the challenges students face regarding mental health.

“We thank the Government of Alberta for their support of the Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation Grant and look forward to continuing to work together to provide solutions that bring crisis-intervention and mental health prevention and promotion to campus.”


Allannah Wrobel
ASEC Chair

For Immediate Release 

Post-secondary education remains a priority in Budget 2016

April 2016 | Edmonton, Alberta— The Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC) commends the government for making post-secondary education a priority.  In the current economic climate, we believe post-secondary education serves as a key proponent in the development of a sustainable, adaptive, and prosperous economy.  The government’s commitment to the promised two-year tuition freeze demonstrates that predictability for students and their families is important. Kristen George, ASEC Chair adds “in a time when turmoil is ever present in the lives of Albertans, predictability for post-secondary education is something Albertans can count on in 2016 thanks to this government”.

The largest priority for students across Alberta this year was continued funding support for mental health in post-secondary. Our members have been clear and consistent that this funding support is integral to the success of our students. The one-year continuation of previous funding for mental health in Budget 2016 is a relief for students worried about the future of services and supports on campus.  ASEC’s 14 member students’ association will share $600,000 that will continue to fund student-led initiatives through the Alberta Campus Mental Health and Innovation (ACMHI) fund. This funding will go towards meeting the needs of 105,000 students located across the province. Additional funding was awarded to five of Alberta’s universities in the amount of $3,000,000.  

Going forward, ASEC will continue to advocate for mental health supports to be equitably distributed across Alberta’s student population, and looks forward to working with the Ministry of Advanced Education in pursuit of this goal. ASEC encourages the government to commit to a principle of funding equality in the future.

Additionally, the government’s financial commitment of 65 million dollars in grants in foundational learning will serve an instrumental role in assisting students overcome barriers that have hindered their ability to access adult learning opportunities in the past. “The successfulness of Alberta’s post secondary learners has been improved by this funding,” adds George, “it will provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and amplify their ability to lead fulfilling lives”.  



For Immediate Release 

ACMHI Is Hosting a Provincial Wellness Summit

December 2015 | Edmonton, Alberta – Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation (ACMHI) is hosting its first Wellness Summit on January 29 & 30, 2016. The Summit will bring students, campus practitioners, government and community partners to build on the efforts of previous Wellness Summits. Through the theme ‘Connect, Learn, Share’, summit participants will strengthen partnerships and share best practices to coordinate local and provincial action for healthy campuses across Alberta.

The Wellness Summit will feature insights from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and from various post-secondary leaders to share innovative mental health initiatives across the province. Through interactive and informative sessions, the Wellness Summit will inspire and promote meaningful discussion around the current state of mental health services on campuses in Alberta and support the development of the Alberta Post-Secondary Mental Health and Addiction Community of Practice. 

The Wellness Summit will be held on January 29 & 30th, 2016 at Lister Centre, University of Alberta. Registration is open until January 6, 2016. for more information on registration and participation opportunities.


For more information contact:

Allannah Wrobel, Chair                                      Jessica Turowski, ACMHI Project Manager

Alberta Students’ Executive Council                 Alberta Students' Executive Council


For Immediate Release

No surprises for post-secondary in budget 2015, students look to budget 2016 for new commitment to mental health on post secondary

October, 2015 | Edmonton, Alberta— The Alberta budget released by the Honourable Joe Ceci on October 27 held few surprises for post-secondary students. The reversal of market-modifiers, the tuition freeze, and the funding model review for Campus Alberta were already announced in the interim supply bill in June. Students are pleased with these commitments, and with the new announcements on funding for Student Aid and the return of the STEP program.

“Big promises were made to students during the election,” says ASEC Chair, Kristen George, “these are positive steps towards meeting these promises.”

Students are now looking forward to budget 2016, where we hope to see a renewed commitment to funding mental health support for post-secondary. The current government’s commitment to mental health support funding for post-secondary is currently in its final year. ASEC’s membership has consistently identified the weakness of mental health services on campus as a gap that needs to be addressed. Students need a new commitment to mental health support from their government and we look forward to working with them to achieve that commitment.

The Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC) represents over 105,000 students from 14 students’ associations from all across Alberta. ASEC is a member-driven, non-partisan, student advocacy organization.


For more information contact:

Kristen George, Chair                                              Teresa Currie, Executive Director

Alberta Students’ Executive Council                       Alberta Students Executive Council


For Immediate Release

ACMHI Looks Forward to a Successful Third Year

 October 2015 | Edmonton, Alberta – The third and final year of the Alberta Campus Mental Health Innovation (ACMHI) fund is well underway. So far, 13 students’ associations received $485,000 in mental health support. Students continue to work towards improving the wellness of more than 100,000 post-secondary students in Alberta, fostering resilient leaders for the future through anti-stigma campaigns, awareness workshops, peer-support services, and more. 

With support from Alberta Health and the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), ACMHI encourages student-led mental health initiatives that address the continued gap between student needs and available mental health support. “Students’ associations across Alberta are leading on-campus discussion surrounding mental health for the third year,” says Kristen George, ASEC Chair. “ACMHI-funded programs and events continue to succeed and grow in impact because mental health initiatives are created by students, for students.” 

This year, students are hosting innovative initiatives that speak to their student body, and address specific mental health needs on each campus. Students at the Alberta College of Art & Design, for example, are joining the conversation on mental health through art, by participating in the Artist-In-Residence program. Many campuses are implementing Wellness Wednesdays and self-care campaigns to promote positive well-being, and reducing the growing stresses of attending post-secondary through free pet therapy sessions, yoga classes, and massages. Peer support services remain a priority, as more students’ associations implement peer counselling services to combat lengthy wait-times when seeking professional help. 

ACMHI funds and initiatives are facilitating campus environments that are more welcoming, safe, and supportive of students’ mental health. Please see our Year 3 Overview for more information on upcoming mental health initiatives across the province. 


Kristen George, Chair                                  Jessica Turowski, ACMHI Project Manager

Alberta Students’ Executive Council          Alberta Students' Executive Council 


Immediate Release

ASEC Announces Mental Health as Priority for Post Secondary

August, 2015 | Edmonton, Alberta—The Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), which represents over 105,000 students from 14 institutions, meets every summer to establish advocacy priorities. Mental health support for Albertan campuses was the number one priority of ASEC membership, followed by transferability and international student fees. “ASEC’s advocacy priorities are well aligned to create positive waves for Alberta’s students,” says Kristen George, ASEC Chair, “We are excited to collaborate with government to achieve innovative solutions to today’s post secondary problems.” 

Mental health support has been an ASEC priority for a number of years, owing to the continued gap between student needs and available support. ASEC has worked with the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health to create ACMHI, the Alberta Campus Mental Health and Innovation fund. ACMHI has encouraged student led mental health initiatives across Alberta with great success. As the ACMHI program enters its third and final year, ASEC urges the government to commit itself to sustainable mental health support for Alberta campuses.

ASEC’s membership also identified program transferability and student mobility as a key issue confronting students. While transferability and diverse learner pathways have improved considerably since ASEC first made transferability an issue in 2011, more work needs to be done to ensure Alberta’s students reach their academic goals.

International student tuition fee regulation is another ASEC priority. ASEC is concerned about the lack of regulation concerning international student fees. International students are a key part of our campus communities, whose fees need to be covered under government regulation.

ASEC is also committed to collaboration with the Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education as it reviews post secondary education funding in Alberta.


For more information contact:

Kristen George, Chair                                                Teresa Currie, Executive Director

Alberta Students’ Executive Council                       Alberta Students' Executive Council