Standing Committee on Finance Calls for Increased Post-Secondary Funding
Once again, the report of the BC Legislature's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services includes several of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators' recommendations to the committee.
For the past several years, FPSE has been calling for a comprehensive review of the funding formula, the reinstatement of tuition-free Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, and improved funding supports for students, including a revitalized needs-based grant program.
This year, as in previous years, the committee concurred with our presentation, recommending that government reinstate tuition-free ESL, ABE, and Adult Special Education programs; an increase to operating grants to relieve cost pressures; establishing a needs-based grant program; and conducting a review of student loan eligibility requirements and interest charges on student loans.
The report indicates strong public support for FPSE’s call to increase investment in post-secondary education. In response to the online survey question asking what further initiatives can be taken to grow the economy and increase the number of family-supporting jobs, increasing funding for post-secondary education and skills-training was the most commonly selected response.
The report of the bipartisan committee also points out that the province receives a “significant economic and social return on investment by supporting ABE, ESL and literacy programs.”
Once again, FPSE is pleased to see the committee recognize the contribution post-secondary education makes to our province and to share our priorities. We can only hope that this time, the government will listen to them, and implement these recommendations in their next budget.
Read the committee’s full report online here.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.