The University of Prince Edward Island is projecting a balanced operating budget of $120 million for the 2018-2019 year after receiving approval from the Board of Governors.
“The annual operating budget outlines how operating expenditures of the University are funded,” said UPEI president and vice chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.
“Our budget process helps us identify opportunities to invest in strategic initiatives that expand UPEI’s community impact and global reach while minimizing the burden of tuition costs on our students.”
One of the university’s principal revenue sources is the annual provincial operating grant. Last month the provincial government announced an increase to the grant by two per cent. The Atlantic Veterinary College, which is supported by all four Atlantic Provinces, also saw an increase of one per cent to its operating budget from the PEI government as outlined in the ten-year interprovincial funding agreement.
“This support reflects the importance of post-secondary education to the future wellbeing of our province. It is especially rewarding to see that our collaborative efforts have also resulted in a multi-year funding agreement that will allow the University to better plan for the future.”
Tuition and fee revenues represent about one-third of the operating revenues annually. The 2018-2019 budget will see an overall tuition increase of two per cent, which is equivalent to a $12 increase per undergraduate course.
“The Student Union has, for the past few years, advocated for tuition hikes to remain below CPI, which is clearly reflected in this budget,” said UPEI Student Union president Will McGuigan. “It is great to see the university administration paying attention to student concerns and recommendations.”
In the upcoming fiscal year, UPEI will see infrastructure upgrades to Dalton Hall completed and the Student Experience Hub will be a key component to serving prospective and current students.
The operating budget does not include research funds, which are budgeted separately on a project-by-project basis, but it does include the budget of departments that provide support to research. Capital projects are also budgeted on a project-by-project basis and reported within the capital assets fund.
“We have embarked on an exciting journey that has enabled us to re-imagine the many possibilities of what it means to study, explore, create, discover, work, and belong at UPEI. We have ambitious goals and we are managing during challenging times. We are working together as we look ahead and think about what we can do to provide our students with outstanding education, conduct research, and contribute to our community and beyond in new and transformative ways.”