The University of Calgary says a third straight year of cuts by the provincial government will mean cutting hundreds of jobs and further increasing tuition fees
In the budget presented Thursday, Alberta’s UCP said in 2020-2021 that its own-source revenue for post-secondary facilities is expected to cover 47 percent of the schools’ operating costs
The U of C said the budget cut the university’s operating budget by $ 25 million, meaning the university’s overall budget has been cut by 18 percent since 2019

The school said the cuts bring the operating budget to less than 2011 than according to the university 4300 fewer students were on campus

“A third year of funding cuts will have an impact on our campus community and programs,” said University President and Vice-Chair Ed McCauley

“But in this environment, we will continue to prioritize a great student experience, fuel economic growth and recovery in Alberta, and find ways to support and give back to our city and province through these troubled times”

The school’s student union said it was “disappointed” with the budget, which it described as an “ongoing lack of support” from the government, and that silver linings were “nonexistent” “

The U of C student union said students can expect their tuition fees to rise 225 percent by the time the budget runs its course, and by removing the tuition tax credit, the government is increasing the tax hike for students and theirs Families for an additional $ 200 million

“If students got better, higher quality education by paying more, it would be easier to swallow, but the university is being forced to downsize in addition to increasing tuition fees,” said union president Frank Finley

“Online learning doesn’t offer the same campus experience either. In short, thanks to these continued cuts, students pay a lot more and get far less”

The union said it was also disappointed to see that after a difficult year of employment for graduates and returning students, no support was provided to help students secure their jobs over the summer

“Students are already struggling to pay for their education and a lack of summer opportunities means they go further into debt and are unable to even cover their basic expenses,” said Marley Gillies, outside vice president

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“We have encouraged the province to bring back the STEP program or a similar student career program. Our calls fell on deaf ears”

Meanwhile, Mount Royal University, who said they hadn’t slashed their budget, celebrated the budget and the $ 50 million pledged for their capital projects into the old conservatory, along with a private donation to be renovated classrooms and the renovation of the old library of the university

“In this way we can create a space where active learning, work and integrated learning are central,” said President and Vice Chancellor Tim Rahilly

“This allows us to increase our full-time student population by more than 1000 students increase ”

Rahilly said the university was not surprised by the government’s expectation that post-secondary schools would be responsible for a larger portion of their operating costs, and said the MRU has been working towards that goal for some time

“I think the government was very clear about their request,” he said

“I absolutely understand students’ concerns about the cost of attendance and tuition”

Rahilly said the MRU approved a tuition fee hike days ahead of the budget, which had more to do with COVID-19 than the result of the provincial funding

He said the school is relying on food services, parking, the bookstore, and other campus-facing revenue options for funding, but admitted that this is a challenging plan with fewer students on campus during the pandemic

“I think the trend is pretty clear The government has made this pretty clear, you know, hopefully we can achieve this if we’re not in the middle of a pandemic,” Rahilly said

Rahilly said the school is in a “constant cost-cutting mode” due to the pandemic and cannot say if there would be further staff cuts or an impact on programming in the future

Budget in Alberta

World News – CA – Budget in Alberta 2021: University of Calgary faces downsizing, tuition fee increase