The University of New Brunswick’s Board of Governors has approved a tight but balanced operating budget for 2010-11. The budget is marked by a freeze in student tuition for the third year in a row, modest revenue growth thanks to contributions from the provincial government and tight control over expenses.
“The 2010-11 budget represents the first year of a three-year plan to return UNB to financial stability,” says Eddy Campbell, President and Vice-Chancellor. “This budget was also designed to help UNB act on a strategic plan that will be completed this fall.”
The current 2009-10 budget contained a $3-million shortfall, compounding the effects of an accumulated deficit of another $3 million.
“Like most universities around the world, UNB was hit hard by the global recession,” says Dr. Campbell. “A freeze to our base operating grant in 2009-10 and ongoing declines in student enrolment have required significant expense reductions university-wide and greater focus on student recruitment and retention. Our sector continues to face many challenges and risks in the coming years.”
The $166.3-million operating expense budget for 2010-11 represents an increase of 0.3% over 2009-10. More than 71% of the budget will be spent on academic programs and student support, with 15% spent on administration, technology and development, and the balance spent on maintenance, utilities and ancillary expenses.
Operating revenues are budgeted to increase by 3.8% over 2009-10. Most new revenues stem from an increase in UNB’s base provincial grant, along with compensation from the provincial government in lieu of tuition increases on domestic student fees. Overall, more than 63% of UNB’s operating revenues are received from the provincial government, while more than 30% are received from student tuition and almost 6% from other sources.
Tuition fees for domestic undergraduate and graduate students will remain at 2007-08 levels, helping to make post-secondary education affordable. For undergraduate students, UNB tuition is $5,482 per year, which is one of the lowest university tuition rates in the Maritime provinces. Graduate tuition depends upon the program of study. International undergraduate students, who are not funded by the provincial government, will see a 5% increase in supplemental fees in 2010-11. Despite this increase, UNB tuition rates for international students remain below the Canadian average.
Although UNB’s endowment and trust accounts are still recovering from the effects of the recession, UNB has managed to protect the $6.5 million it spends annually on scholarships, bursaries, grants and prizes. UNB will continue to spend another $16.8 million employing students as teaching and research assistants and through work-study programs.
Residence fees will see slight increases in 2010-11, in keeping with associated cost increases to UNB. For the Fredericton program, traditional rates (residence and meals combined) will increase by 2.7%. Apartment rates will increase by 2%. For the Saint John campus, residence rates will increase by 3.2%.
In addition to economic adjustment freezes on salaries at UNB, a further $2.4 million was trimmed from the university’s operating budget across most budget units, with areas related to student services and scholarships sheltered. On the Fredericton campus, eight continuing full-time positions have been eliminated. Most affected individuals have accepted early retirement packages. No continuing full-time positions have been eliminated on the Saint John campus.
The Board of Governors approved a capital budget of almost $70 million for the university, an increase of about $9 million over 2009-10. UNB’s capital budgets have been buoyed by special one-time stimulus funding from the federal and provincial governments, along with help from municipal governments and donors. New construction and renovation projects are taking place at an unprecedented rate on UNB’s campuses in both Fredericton and Saint John, contributing to the quality of the on-campus experience.
“UNB is grateful to the Province, our federal and municipal governments, donors, students and communities for all of their contributions, financial and otherwise,” says Dr. Campbell. “I would also like to thank our faculty and staff for their hard work and support. UNB has a 225-year-old tradition of making a difference in our communities and around the world. I am optimistic that, working together, this tradition will continue well into the future.”
Established in 1785, UNB is one of the oldest public universities in North America. With more than 12,500 full- and part-time students from more than 100 countries, UNB has the best student-to-faculty ratio of Canada’s comprehensive universities, according to Maclean’s magazine. As the largest research institution in New Brunswick, UNB conducts over 75% of the province’s university research. The university annually employs more than 3,500 faculty, staff and students. UNB’s two main campuses are located in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Tanaka, Communications & Public Affairs Manager (506) 648-5697