February 27, 2016 - 6:30 PM
OKANAGAN - A tuition increase this week at Okanagan College is a symptom of the deeper pain of ongoing budget cuts from the Ministry of Advanced Education.
College governors announced this week a two per cent tuition increase for domestic and international students.
Public affairs director Alan Coyle says the tuition increase will raise just $340,00 as is part of efforts to balance the 2016/2017 budget.
Since 2013, Coyle says the college has shared in a province-wide post secondary budget cut totalling $50 million last year, introduced in increasing amounts — $5 million in 2013, $20 million the second year and $25 million this year.
The cost-cutting program was supposed to end this year but word is it could continue.
“That reduction is expected to persist,” Coyle says, although the college has yet to receive this year’s funding letter.
The college’s budget for 2014 was $94.6 million and $94.5 million in 2013. Provincial grants to the college totalled $56.2 million in 2014 and $57.2 million the year before.
For Okanagan College, that translated last year into a budget cut of $1.2-million (from its 2013 funding level) plus another $768,000 year from the loss of adult basic education and English as a Second Language funding.
The college announced this week it would begin charging tuition domestic students tuition for those programs in May.
Coyle says the ministry changed the policy in 2014 of providing grants to post-secondary institutions in lieu of tuition for ABE and ESL students.
Okanagan College board of governors will meet at the end March to consider next year’s budget.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016