Alberta has welcomed thousands of Ukrainian citizens since the start of Russia’s war with Ukraine, and many are looking to work and study in the province. Alberta’s government is helping displaced Ukrainian students escaping the indescribable suffering of war by providing the supports they need to continue their education.

Many post-secondary institutions quickly stepped in to help cover tuition and living costs for Ukrainian student newcomers who sought to continue their studies but who were not eligible for Alberta student aid.

As the war continues, the government expects more displaced Ukrainians to arrive in Alberta and seek to resume their education. Through the new Ukrainian Student Benefit, Alberta’s government will provide $1.5 million to post-secondary institutions to continue providing financial supports for Ukrainian newcomers in the future.

“Ukrainian newcomers in Alberta should be able to access the supports they need to get back on their feet. Part of that means access to education, and our government is ensuring their costs of higher education are covered with this investment.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

Alberta has also expanded the eligibility for apprenticeship education programs to allow Ukrainian temporary residents to participate.

“Alberta needs more skilled workers to meet growing industry demands. We are working to build Alberta’s talent pipeline by creating more apprenticeship education opportunities. Extending apprenticeship education programs to Ukrainian citizens on a temporary basis could mark a new step toward broadening apprenticeship education access to temporary residents of all backgrounds.”

Kaycee Madu, Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions

Apprenticeship education will help newcomers integrate and find a sense of stability, whether they are in Alberta for as long as the conflict continues or intend to settle permanently.

Apprenticeship programs offer value for both students and employers. Hands-on training and mentorship ensure students have the skills they need to find good-paying jobs while employers benefit as students are almost immediately able to contribute to productivity.

“Alberta was one of the first provinces to support Ukrainians displaced by the war. Alberta institutions stepped up alongside our government in 2022 to assist however possible. We welcome newcomers and the vibrancy they bring to our communities. The supports announced mean that displaced Ukrainians can live to their fullest while they await an end to the war and a peaceful return to their homes.”

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, parliamentary secretary for Ukrainian Refugee Settlement and MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

“Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council is very pleased with this announcement about the financial support for displaced Ukrainian students to continue their post-secondary education in Alberta. Education is an important tool to help Ukrainian newcomers foster and develop their skill sets while contributing to the workforce and the growth of the economy.”

Orysia Boychuk, president, Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council

To be eligible, Ukrainian newcomers must be able to complete their chosen apprenticeship education program with fewer than six months of classroom instruction or have received approval from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the registrar to study for more than six months.

Quick facts

  • Ninety-two displaced Ukrainian students have been able to continue their education thanks to emergency funding from their post-secondary institutions.
  • A total of $1.5 million will be allocated among five institutions that currently offer emergency supports for displaced Ukrainians: the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, Olds College, Northwest Polytechnic and Athabasca University.
  • Forty-seven applicants have applied to apprenticeship education programs under the expanded eligibility in a variety of skilled trades.

Apprentice information

  • The Government of Alberta offers apprenticeship education programs in 47 designated trades.
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requires temporary residents to obtain a study permit to enrol in any post-secondary program for more than six months.
  • New apprenticeship education program applicants have the option to complete a Prior Learning Assessment that, if successful, allows them to forego a period of classroom instruction, thus allowing them to enrol in a custom-pattern apprenticeship education program.
  • Under Section 6(1)(c) of the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act, the registrar can create a special category for Ukrainian citizens coming to Canada.