03/16/2013 05:42 EDT | Updated 03/16/2013 05:48 EDT

Edmonton Students Protest Against Post-Secondary Education Cuts In 2013 Alberta Budget

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Hundreds of post-secondary students and staff marched to the legislature in Edmonton to protest against province-wide education cuts on Friday.

The group met at the University of Alberta to discuss the potential for a concerted response to the Alberta budget, before rallying on the steps of the legislature.

"People are very upset. People are very mad and justifiably so,” said Brent Kelly, a fourth-year political science student at the University of Alberta to Global News.

Alberta's 2013 budget did not deliver on the promised two per cent funding increase for post-secondary institutions. Instead, the province cut operating grants to post-secondary institutions by nearly seven per cent, to $2 billion.

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Edmonton Protest Against Budget Cuts

“Their term is four years. Ours is a lifetime," said environmental engineering professor Selma Guigard to the Edmonton Journal.

NDP MP Linda Duncan, NDP MLA Rachel Notley and Liberal MLA Raj Sherman were among the speakers at the rally, the Edmonton Journal adds.

A leaked internal email, from earlier this week, revealed the University of Alberta is eyeing deep cuts because of reductions in operating grants announced in the government's budget.

The email, released Wednesday by the NDP, says university president Indira Samarasekera instructed faculty heads last weekend to draw up scenarios to spend 20 per cent less starting next year.

With files from the Canadian Press