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U of W's budget leaves jobs vacant

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Lloyd Axworthy, outgoing president of the University of Winnipeg in the university's new Health & RecPlex, June 17.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Lloyd Axworthy, outgoing president of the University of Winnipeg in the university's new Health & RecPlex, June 17. Photo Store

The University of Winnipeg's board of regents approved a $120-million balanced operating budget late this afternoon that includes leaving $3.6 million worth of jobs vacant.

The university has also approved larger class sizes and administrative cuts of $700,000 to help balance its budget.

However, the university also announced the provincial government has agreed to form a working group to study U of W’s contention it is underfunded compared to the University of Manitoba and Brandon University. Confirmation from the province was not immediately available.

The university was forced to find $2.5 million to cover a shortfall in its pension contributions, which has been an ongoing problem.

The university has about 10,000 students.

University of Winnipeg shortchanged?


The University of Winnipeg’s board voted to increase student fees Tuesday, while citing growing budgetary concerns from what the university says is disproportionately lower government funding than other Manitoba universities. The numbers show that the U of W gets significantly less per student than the University of Manitoba or Brandon University from the Manitoba government.



The U of W’s per student provincial funding also fares poorly when compared with comparably sized universities in B.C, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.



Lloyd Axworthy, outgoing U of W president, has called for the U of W’s funding formula to be revised. He announced on Monday that the province has agreed to set up a working group to deal with the issue.


Meanwhile, the U of W has been steadily increasing tuition fees, within a tight tuition cap imposed by the province. Since 2010/11, the university's fees for Canadian students has gone up 8 per cent. However, the U of W's fees remain one of the lowest in Canada when compared to average tuition in other provinces.



Average tuition fees information is from Statistics Canada (2013/14). Provincial funding data is from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (2011/12), while student enrolment figures are from individual universities and Manitoba's Council on Post-Secondary Education. The funding per student has been calculated using Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment numbers.


History

Updated on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 9:15 PM CDT: corrects spelling of confirmation

June 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM: Adds graphs on student funding and tuition rates.

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