Provincial funding changes for universities

A provincial decision to roll back tuition rates by 10% for the next school year and to freeze tuition at the new lower rates in 2020/21 is concerning.  That’s the initial reaction of McMaster to Wednesday’s announcement from the Ontario government.

“We are an innovative university that has focussed for many years on finding efficiencies so we can continue to offer the new programs that students want and deliver them in the creative ways that enable students to learn effectively and be most successful in their careers and lives,” said McMaster president Patrick Deane.

Over the next year the impact of the tuition rollback will be close to $22 million on the University’s operating budget.   Across the province the cut to Ontario university and college budgets will total approximately $450 million.

The Ontario government is also moving to make many student fees optional.  Fees for major, campus-wide services, health and safety and recreation will continue to be required for all students.

“The McMaster Students Union, the Graduate Student Association and the McMaster Association of Part-time Students have always supported a dynamic and inclusive student experience at McMaster and we look forward to better understanding the new guidelines that will impact these student groups.” said Deane.

A number of changes to OSAP access, levels of support and repayment have also been made.  

David Lindsay is the president of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

“COU and member universities will keep working with the government to discuss the sector’s financial situation and clarify the effects of the tuition cut as well as any future policy decisions that may affect their revenues.  We welcome Minister Fullerton’s commitment not to reduce the government’s operating grants to universities.”

Additional details about the government changes are expected to be available over the coming weeks.