The provincial government announced today that it will seek agreements with publicly-funded universities to fund pilot projects and commit to four-year predictability in both tuition for students and funding provided by government.
The government will seek to enter into memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with universities, recognizing each institution’s individual strengths and areas of expertise, to outline its predictable funding commitments.
“We are appreciative of the provincial government’s desire to provide universities with predictable funding. This will allow us to better plan for the future, and UNB welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government of New Brunswick,” said UNB President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Eddy Campbell. “We recognize the significant fiscal challenges faced by New Brunswick and we believe UNB has a critical role to play in building new wealth for a more prosperous, inclusive and successful society.”
Funding will be set aside in the government’s budget to fund pilot projects and provide modest funding increases for universities. As part of these agreements, the government will seek to limit tuition increases and have universities set out a four-year tuition schedule to help students in planning for their post-secondary education.
These discussions take place in the context of two years of freezes to UNB’s operating grant and caps of zero per cent and two per cent on the increases to tuition fees. This has resulted in two years of challenging institution deficits, despite the university’s austerity measures. While allowing for greater predictability, the funding framework put forward by the Government of New Brunswick will result in at least two more years of deficit funding at UNB.
“Like the premier, we are concerned about accessibility and student debt. We have been studying ways to deal with these two issues while at the same time addressing our need to maintain a high-quality education,” said Dr. Campbell. “Our fiscal reality has led us to plan a review of our tuition fees for each program we offer. The results will clearly have significance for the MOU discussion.”
UNB welcomes the opportunity to address this issue with GNB, working together on a predictable funding and tuition fee model coupled to memorandums of understanding that sustain our unique capacity for innovation, recognized by the premier and his government as a high priority.
Media contact: Sonya Gilks