University of New Brunswick President Eddy Campbell expressed relief that the province was able to protect education, including universities, in today’s budget.
“Government was faced with many tough choices as it deals with the fiscal reality facing the province,” said Dr. Campbell. “There is no doubt that the impact of this budget on our university could have been much worse.”
Measures in the budget affecting post-secondary education include:
- A freeze on university operating grants;
- A cap on tuition for domestic, in-province students of two per cent;
- An intention to tie the funding of universities to institutional performance.
Dr. Campbell said a freeze to the university’s operating grant for the second year in a row, coupled with the request for a tuition cap, will impose a significant financial challenge.
“UNB is now building our own budget. We already face a potential operating deficit in this fiscal year of about $5 million. With the operating grant freeze and tuition cap, I anticipate our deficit for 2016-17 could be more than $10 million.”
“Ensuring that UNB’s future remains strong requires that we take steps to deal with this budgetary deficit,” Dr. Campbell said. “We will do so over the next few years so that the change required is carefully considered, that our approach is measured and strategic.”
He welcomed renewed investments in student aid and the creation of an Education and New Economy Fund.
“Support for students and a strong focus on education, economic development and innovation are clearly welcome,” Dr. Campbell said. “We await more detail from government but are encouraged.”
Government indicated today that it intends to start discussions on performance funding for universities – in other words, attaching a set of outcomes to the funding it provides.
“We welcome discussions with our government in order to ensure any incentives put in place produce the expected results.”
Media Contact: David Stonehouse