VANCOUVER, Feb. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Restricting new funding to only targeted post-secondary programs can undermine economic diversity and student success, warns the Federation of Post Secondary Educators.
"We always welcome announcements of new funding for post-secondary education," said George Davison, President of FPSE, "But as educators, we question the government's priorities in how those funds are being directed."
Since 2014, the BC government has been moving to align post-secondary funding with specific jobs that it has determined are top priorities. FPSE remains concerned that this targeted approach to funding diminishes choice for BC's students.
"Post-secondary education isn't only about jobs, and it's certainly not only about the jobs the government has chosen for students," says Davison. "We're worried that when government only funds particular programs, our public colleges and universities are forced to cut back in other areas. This limits choice and undermines other important careers that contribute to a strong and diverse economy.
"Students need choices. More choices mean more opportunities, and diversity in post-secondary programs leads to a more diverse economy and society for our province."
Since 2001, per-student operating grants to BC's colleges and universities have decreased by over 20% when adjusted for inflation. Institutions are struggling to make up these shortfalls by cutting programs and raising tuition and other fees.
"Monday's announcement of an additional $90 million for targeted programs will only help ease the funding squeeze in some areas," said Davison, "But increasing the general operating grants would be a better long-term investment in BC students and BC's economy."
SOURCE Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC
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