UVic Torch -- Spring 2004
Spring 2004,
Volume 26, Number 1

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New Budget: Higher Fees; More Aid
Getting by: In November, the university’s office of Institutional Planning and Analysis surveyed more than 3,500 UVic students in an “Affordability and Accessibility” study. Most students expect to cope with higher tuition but there is a group at the margin who may be prevented from completing their studies. Asked how they would deal with higher tuition costs, students said:
• Cut back on extras: 82.2%
• Ask for/borrow more money: 72.5%
• Cut living expenses: 70.2%
• Take longer to finish: 42.2%
• Take fewer courses: 40.1%
• Earn more money: 30.6%
• Finish program sooner: 22.5%
• Quit studies: 19.6%

TUITION FEES WILL RISE 16.6 PER CENT FOR UNDERGRADUATES IN 2004-05, seven per cent for graduate students and 13.6 per cent for international undergrads after the UVic Board of Governors ratified the university’s new budget.

The university will use the additional revenue to meet operating cost increases, provide space for 372 more full-time students, and increase student financial assistance by $2 million.

President David Turpin says the university now has “one of the most robust” student aid programs in the country, with a total of $9.9 million available in the coming year. Student financial aid has also been identified as a university fundraising priority, with a target of $50 million in donations for scholarships, bursaries and fellowships within 10 years.

As well, there will be $687,000 for new course sections and additional faculty in high demand areas; an additional $400,000 will be set aside for library acquisitions; and $100,000 will be allocated for new resources for counselling services and students with disabilities.

Michelle Kinney—one of the three student members of the board who voted against the budget—said students have “hit the wall” after three consecutive years of fee increases that followed a six-year tuition freeze.

The board unanimously passed a motion to write to the premier and the minister of advanced education expressing concern about the recent cancellation of the BC student grant program and encouraging the government to introduce a replacement program.

The university’s total operating budget is $224.7 million, with tuition providing 34 per cent of operating revenue. The new tuition increases are similar to recent decisions at UBC and SFU.

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