Created 18 February 2014 13:02
VICTORIA – The 2014/15 provincial budget continues to shortchange students and their families according to the organization representing professors, librarians and other academic staff at BC’s public research universities.
“In a time when we should be increasing investment in the people and research necessary to diversify our economy and support local communities, this budget cuts funding to post-secondary institutions and does nothing to help us keep BC’s best and brightest at home,” said Richard Kool, President of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA BC).
“By 2016, per student operating grants to universities, colleges and institutes will have dropped 20% in real terms since the Liberals formed government,” Kool added. “Students have already lost support services and learning opportunities due to inadequate funding and these new cuts will shortchange students even further.”
“Moreover, we are losing some of the best and brightest BC students to other provinces because we don’t have a provincial graduate fellowship program to support tomorrow’s innovators,” Kool said.
The creation of the BC Training and Education Savings Grant will do little to help students and their families, say the professors.
“The BC Training and Education Savings Grant is completely inadequate”, Kool said. “The value of the government’s contribution will not even cover the projected increase in tuition fees for one year by the time a child born today reaches age 18. We should be able to do better.”
“Using the government’s numbers, the value of the government’s contribution will fall $473 short of the projected tuition fee increases. Using more realistic calculations, the gap is $754,” Kool added. “This is on top of tuition fees that have already doubled under the Liberals.”
“Our society and economy demands educated citizens,” Kool said. “Simply training people for resource-dependent jobs, as proposed by this budget, ignores the need to prepare people for the social, economic and environmental changes in front of us. The provincial government’s narrow focus limits our possibilities and ill-prepares us for an ever changing world.”
The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC represents 4,600 professors, librarians, instructors, lecturers and other academic staff at BC’s five public research universities – UBC (Vancouver and Kelowna), SFU (Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver), UVic (Victoria), UNBC (Prince George, Quesnel, Terrace, Fort St. John) and Royal Roads (Victoria)