The Manitoba government is increasing funding for colleges and universities province-wide by four per cent, the province said Thursday.

The $27.9 million addition brings the total to $710.8 million, according to the province.

"We know that our colleges and universities provide opportunities for youth and help drive our economy," said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.  

"We're showing our commitment to support students and post-secondary education in our province because we know that more people with access to a better education will translate into a well-trained workforce that's ready for the jobs of tomorrow."

More than half of the increase — 2.5 per cent — will go to universities in Manitoba.

The University of Winnipeg's president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Annette Trimbee calls the additional funds a "meaningful investment."

"It's a promise to go beyond our present trajectory, ensuring that our next generation is equipped to realize their potential," she said.

The president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba, David Barnard, was also pleased with the news, saying it will help create opportunities for indigenous students on campus.

"Premier Selinger continues to share our vision for and commitment to indigenous education and support for the next generation of indigenous leaders in our province," he said.

The remainder of the four per cent will go to colleges in Manitoba and innovative programs, indigenous education and new support for students, the province said.

Among the programs receiving funding are a joint bachelor of midwifery program at University College of the North and the University of Manitoba, which will receive $844,000.

More than $275,000 is being allocated to access supports for indigenous, newcomer and marginalized students on campus.