Access to the Future Fund in the money

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Alberta's post-secondary system is getting a sizable boost thanks to the province's record $6 billion surplus.

"By tripling this year's investment towards the Access to the Future Fund we're showing that we're serious about securing a bright and prosperous future for Albertans through education," said Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock.

The Access to the Future Fund is getting a $500 million boost, bringing the endowment to $750 million for 2005-06. The fund, announced earlier this year as part of Bill 1, is an endowment designed to grow out of yearly surpluses and provide funding for post-secondary innovations. Eventually, the Access to the Future Fund will total $3 billion and generate $135 million per year in interest.

Hancock noted the fund will also be used to match private donations to post-secondary.

"Since launching the fund, there has been even greater interest among Albertans for investing in the province's post-secondary system," he said.

University of Calgary Students' Union President Bryan West noted the increased funding will help the endowment realize its $3 billion goal sooner.

"It's good," said West. "It's a heck of a lot better than $250 million and brings the timetable of filling the fund up quite a bit."