Advanced education ministry reborn in shuffle

A separate ministry for post-secondary education was revived in provincial cabinet changes announced Feb. 18. Andrew Petter will serve as the new minister of Advanced Education, Training and Technology.

"This is a positive move," says UBC President Martha Piper. "It shows that government values the contribution of education and university research to the economic strength of this province."

Advanced education last had its own ministry in 1993.

The change will help address B.C.'s economic challenges through a focus on jobs, investment, education and training, the government says.

In his new role Petter will oversee universities and colleges, skills and worker retraining, student loans, social assistance recipient jobs, disabilities, science and technology, information and privacy.

UBC Economics alumnus Gerry Armstrong will serve as deputy minister of the new ministry. Stuart Culbertson will serve as deputy for the technology portion of the portfolio.

Petter takes over advanced education from Paul Ramsey, who will continue as minister of Education responsible for kindergarten through Grade 12.

Petter, who previously held the post of minister of Finance and Corporate Relations, is currently on leave from the University of Victoria where he is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law.