Public funding of Canada’s universities and colleges is inadequate to meet rising demand. In 1990, government operating grants made up 80% of total university operating revenues. By 2014, that had fallen to just less than 50%.
Over the course of four days last April, TRUFA hosted a pledge drive for TRU students, complete with free cupcakes and a chance to win gift certificates to La Dolce Vita Spa, as part of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators’ (FPSE) Open The Doors campaign to restore funding for post-secondary education in British Columbia. The drive was a resounding success! We had almost 1,000 pledge cards to contribute to the province-wide total goal of 10,000 signed pledges. Students were so eager to sign, and so appreciative that TRUFA was taking action on this issue.
Our campaign was so successful that FPSE has used our approach as a model for other Universities and Colleges around BC. Pictured below is TRUFA President, Tom Friedman delivering our pledges to FPSE President George Davison.
— open the doors (@openthedoorsbc) April 27, 2016
While handing out pledges and cupcakes, we heard many students’ stories of financial hardship, of extra jobs taken, of classes deferred because of costs, of skyrocketing student loans and mostly, of general frustration and anger that the needs of students seem to be continually shunted out of sight or minimized by older generations who have not experienced the same levels of tuition and debt. For young people, affordable access to quality post-secondary education is a major, pressing concern and this campaign struck a chord.
FPSE launched its Open the Doors campaign on March 16, 2015 as a direct result of concerns regarding both the BC Liberal government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the steady decline in per-student operating grants.
For 2016, FPSE has priorititized the campaign in the hopes of making post-secondary education a “vote-determining issue in the upcoming 2017 provincial election.” To that end, the following resolution was passed At the 2016 FPSE AGM:
That the Open the Doors campaign leading up to the 2017 provincial election be visionary, aggressive, hard-hitting, and one that calls out the government for its harmful decisions that threaten our public post-secondary system.
The TRUFA Open The Doors campaign will continue this semester on campus. We will have a booth at the Back To School BBQ and will be running several contests and games with prizes for students.
One new TRUFA initiative for the campaign is the TRU Game of Life, an online game. Playing the game demonstrates how provincial government cuts to post-secondary education may impact one’s life as a TRU Student, an alumnus, a TRU parent or a local community member. Find it here:
While to date, our Open the Doors campaign has largely focussed on students, other stakeholders such as community members, parents, faculty members and alumni are also encouraged to get involved and our newest campaign strategies aim to target their participation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Sign a pledge, either at one of our events or online at openthedoors.ca
- Encourage your students to find out more about the Open the Doors campaign. Have them stop by our booth at the Back to School BBQ on September 9th to sign a pledge and enter into one of our contests. Direct them to the online TRU Game of Life.
- Encourage your colleagues, friends and families to sign a pledge.
- Tweet, Post and talk about the campaign on social media. Spreading the word about funding issues helps!
- Volunteer at one of our events!
For more information about the campaign and to fill out a pledge online please go to the Open The Doors campaign website: http://
Watch the Open the Doors Campaign video:
The FPSE Open the Doors Camapign grew out of , concern about the BC Liberal government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the steady decline in per-student operating grants, FPSE launched its Open the Doors campaign on March 16, 2015.