Red Deer school boards met last week to discuss the possibility of bringing a university to the Central Albertan city. Sixteen representatives from the community and area school divisions were present at the gathering which was hosted by the Red Deer Public Schools district.
At a population of more than 90,000, Red Deer is the largest urban centre in Western Canada without a university. For example, Brandon Manitoba with a population of around 46,000, has a university. “Red Deer’s young people, it would appear, are disadvantaged when compared with their peers in communities of similar size across Canada,” superintendent Don Falk, told the Red Deere Advocate.
According to Falk, the limited programs offered by Red Deer College means students have to leave the city, and incur costs they might otherwise have avoided, in order to pursue a higher education. “For many, the opportunities at RDC are limited to a partial program that must be completed elsewhere,” he said. The gathering, intended to pursue possible strategies for bringing a university to the city, was largely preliminary in nature and the Red Deer Public Schools district has yet to release a post-meeting statement.