Profs Welcome University Funding Increase as Recession Hits

Created 17 February 2009 17:02

VICTORIA — BC’s university professors welcomed today’s announcement of increased funding for post-secondary education in the 2009 BC budget and urged the government to make further progress towards meeting its goal of making BC the best educated jurisdiction in North America.

“The increased funding announced today deals with inflationary pressures and provides new educational opportunities for British Columbians seeking to upgrade their skills and change careers as a result of the recession,” said Dr. Paul Bowles, President of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC.

The 2009 budget provides public universities, colleges and institutes with an additional $130.7 million next year to deal with cost pressures and create several thousand new student spaces.

“At this point, we don’t know how deep or how long the recession will be and that will determine how many new students spaces are going to be needed,” Dr. Bowles said. “The government certainly took a step in the right direction today, but it will have to closely monitor the situation in order to provide more student spaces if demand is greater than expected.”

“Looking forward it’s equally important to keep firmly focused on making BC the best educated jurisdiction in North America and there is still a fair amount of work to be done in that respect,” Dr. Bowles said. “In particular, we lag the United States both in the proportion of the population with university degrees generally, and the proportion of the population with masters and doctoral degrees, specifically. Today’s funding increases will help, but more work is needed.”

CUFA BC represents 4,300 university professors, instructors, academic librarians and other academic staff at SFU (Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey campuses), UBC (Vancouver and Kelowna campuses), UNBC (Prince George, Terrace, Fort St. John and Quesnel campuses), UVic and Royal Roads University.