Stephen Mandel says universities and colleges are key to the capital city's future.
He says post-secondary education is as important to Edmonton's economy as the energy industry is to Calgary.
The Redford government's new budget calls for 26 schools across Alberta to absorb a seven per cent funding cut this year instead of an expected increase.
The decision will cost the University of Alberta alone up to $48 million this year.
Mandel also told business and community leaders in a speech that he hasn't made up his mind whether to seek a fourth term as Edmonton's mayor.
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