Today, the Cape Breton University Board of Governors approved a $57.3 million budget. This budget allows for an enhanced student environment, growth and development within CBU’s Unama’ki College, added support for student financial aid and increased community outreach initiatives, while working within the constraints created from the long-term funding inequities for CBU.
The budget was the first tabled by CBU President & Vice-Chancellor, David C. Dingwall. He noted, “The budget approved today is a result of the good work led by my colleagues. In order to wow students, we must invest in areas that will enhance their experience, both academically and socially. This budget allows us to achieve this and grow our connections with communities across Cape Breton Island.”
The budget includes investments for career services expansion, increased campus life activity, and additional support for human rights and diversity. In the classroom, support for growing programs particularly in the Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Emergency Management and Bachelor of Science – Nursing has been allocated, ensuring continued quality of program delivery. Investments have also been made for growth and development of Unama’ki College, building on CBU’s 40-year history of Indigenous education.
Strengthening community outreach to all four counties on Cape Breton Island is a focus for CBU and important to the advancement of Cape Breton Island. As a significant source of economic, cultural and social activity in the region, CBU is key to its prosperity. “We are reaching out across Cape Breton Island to understand needs to determine how we can work together to grow our communities,” says President Dingwall.
The 2018-19 budget is driven by CBU’s success in addressing the challenges of declining local demographics and its need to pivot from a regional university to a globally-relevant post-secondary institution that services students from Cape Breton Island, across Canada and around the world. International students presently comprise nearly 34 per cent of the student body.
Since 2015, nearly $850,000 has been allocated from the budget for student financial aid, helping to increase CBU’s scholarship and bursary offering to nearly $2 million. The provision for this budget allotment was introduced upon approval of a three-year CBU tuition policy, under which a 5.9 per cent tuition increase is included for this year. Tuition at CBU remains under the provincial average.
“Keeping in mind the financial realities of the post-secondary education sector in Nova Scotia, particularly the challenges faced by CBU in recent years, this budget is built on responsible decision making that allows us to invest in our students and in our community, while making modest provision to retire the accumulated deficit,” says Gordon MacInnis, Vice-President, Finance & Operations.