Supporting Universities for a Stronger Economy In BC

April 28, 2018

KAMLOOPS – Recently, the membership of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce voted to recommend that the Provincial Government re-evaluate the funding model for post-secondary institutions.

Universities are large economic engines located throughout British Columbia. For example, Thompson Rivers University is the fourth largest employer in the city. It contributes an estimated $355 million to the regional economy, adding intellectual and knowledge-based factors to the community.

The present allocation formula for block grant funding of BC’s post-secondary institutions is approximately 15 years old with the allocation structure generally static for 12 years. Despite a drastic increase in student enrollment across the province and many other changes at universities throughout the years, there has been little to no change in funding allocation.

Increased student enrollment is only part of the issue cited with the present funding formula. The present formula is based on targeted enrollment and does not re-allocate total funds once actual enrollment figures are realized.

Therefore, when a university targets below actual student enrollment, the university does not see an increase in funding. As such, the contrary is also true; if a university targets above actual realized student enrollment the university retains the initial funding amount.

Over a 15-year time span, a variety of changes have occurred within the universities of British Columbia, compromising outdated funding formulas. The province’s 15-year old funding formula does not add as much value as it could.

The Kamloops Chamber will be presenting their membership’s position on this issue at the annual BC Chamber of Commerce conference in May.

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