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Date: March 31, 2008

UVic Budget Framework Addresses Continued Growth

The University of Victoria’s board of governors today approved a 2008/09 budget framework that addresses the institution’s priorities and areas of strategic focus including increased resources for student financial aid, student recruitment, and leading-edge information systems.

The framework was developed prior to the recent notification from the Ministry of Advanced Education of a 2.6 per cent reduction in the provincial operating grant compared to the amount previously announced. Given the lateness of the notification, and the need to continue with investments in the above-noted priority areas, the board has approved a deficit budget.

The $4.2 million deficit will be covered, to the extent possible, through the use of one-time funds available through position vacancies and other means. The university will work with the campus community over the coming months to try to minimize the impact of the operating grant reduction on students, faculty and staff and put the necessary base budget reductions in place in time for 2009/10.

The 2008/09 budget framework is based on a projected operating budget of $277.6 million which includes a provincial grant of $156 million. It provides for an increase of 232 full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student positions and 126 FTE graduate student positions for a total funded FTE university enrolment of 16,002. UVic is making some modest investments to meet the instructional and administrative needs of these students to minimize any reduction in the quality of education they will receive.

The framework contains a two per cent increase in tuition fees, established by the 2007 BC Consumer Price Index inflation rate. This increase brings annual domestic arts and science undergraduate tuition to $4,581 from $4,491. Annual tuition for domestic graduate students rises to $4,758 from $4,664 effective May 1, 2008.

“This budget framework allows us to direct resources where they are most needed to ensure returning and new students benefit from the academic programs and facilities for which UVic is renowned,” says UVic President David Turpin. “That it’s being accomplished through a deficit budget is the result of the recently announced reduction in UVic’s provincial operating grant from that previously indicated. Over the next few months, we’ll ask the board of governors to approve a strategy to eliminate the operating deficit in a way that protects our highest institutional priorities and balances the budget over the coming year.”

The approved framework allocates an additional $300,000 for undergraduate student financial aid and over $888,000 for graduate student financial assistance, maintaining UVic’s position among the top 20 per cent of Canadian universities in terms of its student financial assistance. A further $200,000 will go to support UVic’s new streamlined online system that provides students with one-stop access to registration, course information, student information and personal timetables. A $45,000 allocation will establish ongoing funding for Canada’s first university-wide Office of Community-Based Research.

The budget framework includes modest increases in child care, housing and parking fees. The parking increase is lower than anticipated due to the success of UVic’s transportation demand management strategies. Single-occupant vehicle use has dropped to less than 45 per cent of all trips to campus.
Media contacts:
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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