TRU is Chronically Underfunded: What’s the Fallout?
During the last academic school year, the TRUFA Communications Committee was actively engaged in the Open the Doors campaign spearheaded by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of British Columbia (FPSE). That campaign focused on the chronic, long-term underfunding of post-secondary education across the province and the devastating results for BC families. Sky-high student debt, fewer programs, and rising tuition costs have made post-secondary education a challenging prospect for many students and their families.
Our collective hard work paid off! The new BC government has already acted to reform post-secondary education in meaningful ways, such as removing tuition for Adult Education and English Language education, as well as making post-secondary education tuition-free for youth in foster care. Both of these bold moves show an understanding that an investment in post-secondary education is, dollar for dollar, one of the wisest investments a government can make.*
This year, the TRUFA Communications Committee has narrowed our focus to the chronic underfunding of TRU specifically. We are running a campaign to raise awareness about TRU’s chronic underfunding issue and to pressure our local MLAs to advocate on TRU’s behalf for fair funding. To this end, we have spearheaded a petition that we are urging students, faculty, staff and community members to sign. Later in October, we will be presenting this petition to our local MLAs and asking them to work to resolve this unfair funding situation.
A revision of the current funding formula is long overdue.
Ever since the University College of the Cariboo officially became a university in 2004, our funding formula has remained stagnant. The result? Years of chronic underfunding even as our university’s mandate continues to grow as a new research and graduate institution. Underfunding has resulted in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, increased pressure on student support services, and reliance on exploited contract faculty. In addition, TRU has not been able to fulfill its mandate legislated by the TRU Act to serve the educational needs of our entire region. For example, TRU’s Williams Lake campus along with programs in smaller centres such as Lillooet, Lytton, Barriere, Clearwater, have suffered as a direct result of this underfunding, clearly violating the TRU mandate to provide regional educational opportunities.
In 2015-2016 TRU was 20th out 25 universities in British Columbia in actual per-student funding and received $1500 less in per-student funding. (source: http://trusu.ca/advocacy/fundthefuture/)
The TRUFA Communications Committee has spearheaded the petition-signing campaign. Thus far we have staffed booths to gather petitions at the:
KDLC Labour Day Picnic
TRUSU Back to School BBQ and TRUSU Clubs Day
We will be hosting our next event on October 4th inside Old Main, Student Street from 11:30-1pm.
Please join us and sign a petition in support of fair funding for TRU.
For more information about the Open the Doors Campaign click here.
For information on TRUFA participation in the Open the Doors campaign, read the archived newsletter articles:
February 2017 http://trutalk.ca/open-the-doors-campaign-report/
October 2016 http://trutalk.ca/open-the-doors-campaign-update/
September 2016 http://trutalk.ca/days-of-action-open-the-doors-campaign/