BC Faculty Say: “Status Quo Budget, No Austerity But Also Not Growth Minded”

Created 22 February 2024 13:02

(For immediate release – Port Moody, BC, 22 February 2024) – The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) welcomes stable investment in BC’s post-secondary education in the Provincial Budget 2024 Taking Action For You, but raises questions about Government’s long-term strategy for supporting post-secondary institutions.

“This is not an austerity budget but there’s also no room for growth and no reassurance on dealing with the coming financial fallout from the federal international student caps,” says CUFA BC President Dr. Ken Christie. “We appreciate the Province’s continued investment in post-secondary education and in important social causes that will improve the lives of faculty, staff, and students through investments in housing, health care, and the economy.”

“There is a great deal of hope for the role of post-secondary education in BC’s future but this budget does not address the acute budget crises facing universities today,” says Executive Director Annabree Fairweather. “Faculty at BC’s research universities are an essential part of the solution to the economic, environmental, and social challenges facing British Columbians, and they need support to do this important work.”

The 2024 provincial budget reports post-secondary institutional spending to rise to $9.23 billion by 2026/27, an increase of $845 million over the next three years. This spending increase is primarily in anticipation of higher staffing requirements to support a growing student base and related operating costs. The Province has committed to spending $3.12B on post-secondary institution operating expenses, which is a significant increase from previous year of $2.52B. The provincial budget also commits $6 billion toward capital investments at post-secondary institutions throughout the province, with a lot of the funding going toward previously announced projects including the five-story West Shore Learning Centre campus with Royal Roads University, the School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, and the Engineering and Computer Science Building at the University of Victoria.

This is the NDP government’s last budget before the fall provincial election, and it commits $89.4 billion to making life better for British Columbians by investing in affordable homes, strengthening health care and mental health care, and addressing climate change, while training people for good-paying jobs in a cleaner economy.

Faculty will be essential allies to the Province in helping deliver on its promises to British Columbians. We look forward to being a key stakeholder in the future of post-secondary education and working with the new Minister of Post-Secondary Education.

For further information or comment, please contact CUFA BC Executive Director Annabree Fairweather at 604-367-5856 or [email protected].


CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia.

CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.



DOWNLOAD MEDIA RELEASE – CUFA BC Statement on BC Budget 2024