About a dozen students from the Northern Teacher Education Program in Saskatchewan are at the legislature protesting provincial funding cuts they say will hurt learning opportunities in the north.

Amie Bell is a third-year student in the La Ronge-based program and says it's special because it gives northerners a chance to study close to home.

Bell notes that 94 per cent of the 455 graduates from the program stay in the north.

The program allows residents from more than 45 northern communities to take classes towards a Bachelor of Education.

Its annual budget is about $4.7 million, of which $3.4 million comes from the province.

The province is cutting its share saying it is consolidating post-secondary education in the north.