The Board of Governors of the University of New Brunswick has approved a balanced operating budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The $172.2-million budget represents an annual increase of $4.7 million, or 2.8 per cent. It is the second budget in a multi-year series designed to ensure the university’s long-term financial stability, following the dramatic effect of recent downward trends in global economies and financial markets.
“It has been a challenging time for universities across the country, including ours,” said Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor of UNB. “Over the past few years, everyone at the university has worked tirelessly to find savings, reduce costs and increase efficiency in order to ensure our university continues to offer the quality education and world-class research our province needs.”
Over the past few years, UNB has cut more than $18-million from its operating budget, Campbell noted.
About 70 per cent of the operating budget will support faculty/department costs and academic/student services. Approximately 15 per cent supports administrative and development services and 12 per cent maintenance and utilities with the remaining three per cent designated to other activities.
The provincial government’s investment in the further development of a provincial knowledge economy by increasing the operating grant to public universities by two percent has helped UNB to balance its budget and close the funding gap with other jurisdictions.
Currently, provincial government funding accounts for 62.8 per cent of the 2011-12 budget, with 30.6 per cent generated from tuition and 6.6 per cent from other sources.
While the fiscal environment required the university to review all of its spending, Campbell noted that care was taken to protect financial support for students as well as core student services.
“We recently completed a strategic plan to guide our future priorities with one of our goals being financial resilience and responsibility,” notes Campbell. “With this plan in hand, we are able to minimize budget impacts on the quality of our programs and the overall student experience.”
The balanced budget includes several cost adjustments to tuition and ancillary fees, increases to student financial support (scholarships and bursaries) and provisions for continuing improvements to classrooms, laboratories and student spaces. Tuition for students in undergraduate and graduate programs will increase by $200, the cap established by the provincial government. Inflation-based adjustments will also be made to residence fees on the Fredericton and Saint John campuses.
The complete budget will be available for viewing on May 30, 2011 at http://www.unb.ca/vpfin/budget.html
Updated tuition and fee schedules are available at http://www.unb.ca/financialservices/students/tuitionandfees/index.html