University of Calgary

Collaboration is key

UToday HomeMay 23, 2012

The Alberta Graduate Council’s (AGC) new chair, Franco Rizzuti, says it’s committed  to facilitating collaboration at all levels: between schools, graduate student associations and with the government. Photo by Riley BrandtThe Alberta Graduate Council’s (AGC) new chair, Franco Rizzuti, says it’s committed to facilitating collaboration at all levels: between schools, graduate student associations and with the government. Photo by Riley BrandtThe main priorities of new Alberta Graduate Council (AGC) include providing an effective voice for Alberta’s 20,000 graduate students, increasing access to funding and improving their graduate experience says the AGC’s new chair, Franco Rizzuti.

“Graduate students are part of the engine that drives a knowledge-based economy, and currently there is a knowledge gap between grad students and the community—I hope to begin bridging this,” he says.

Rizzuti—who will juggle his new role with his duties as president of the University of Calgary Graduate Students Association (GSA)—says larger organizations such as the AGC are effective in focusing collaborative effort on behalf of graduate students.

“GSAs can advocate to governments independently regarding the issues and concerns of our students, but there is considerable strength and clout when all graduate students, through the AGC, present a united front,” he says.

“Examples of recent lobbying successes include changes to the student aid system as a result of collaboration between all three students groups in the provinces, and the increase in base funding to post-secondary institutions in Alberta.”

Rizzuti says the AGC is committed  to facilitating collaboration at all levels: between schools, graduate student associations and with the government.

“Ongoing collaboration allows us to share best practices and enhance the programs offered by GSAs and universities in the province,” he says.

“Nationally, the AGC is seen as a model for provincial graduate partnerships. Over the past year, AGC has met with schools across the prairies to talk about how our structure enhances communication with the provincial government and ministers.”

The AGC will host its third annual graduate conference, scheduled for May, 2013, in Calgary. A team is already planning this conference, which is set to attract over 300 students to refine their professional skill and build links with industry.