Cape Breton University Board of Governors approves tuition policy.
Cape Breton University remains committed to campaigning for a national policy of zero tuition for all Canadian students, funded by the Federal Government, and designed to establish equity for young Canadians, reduce student debt, enhance life chances for Canadians and improve the long term competitiveness of our country. We believe that all Canadians deserve to have the freedom to attend university reasonably close to their homes and obtain a first class undergraduate education.
We acknowledge that the Province of Nova Scotia is in serious financial difficulty and understand why the government is unable to increase operating grants again this year to match inflation. This is the fifth year of austerity for universities, which combined with exceptional cuts received by CBU in 2008 puts enormous pressure on CBU, its students, staff, community, and faculty. We continue to advocate for an ‘outcomes based’ model for university funding in Nova Scotia which would benefit all universities committed to supporting the objectives of the ONE Nova Scotia report and specifically the employability of graduates in the Nova Scotia labour market.
In the absence of these two much-needed reforms CBU still needs to maintain the integrity of the institution, the quality and the diversity of its programming, the access and affordability of its programs for all students, and the modernisation and physical safety of its facilities, especially class rooms and laboratories. This is vital for all stakeholders – students (current and future), the Cape Breton Island community, faculty and staff.
In the next four years the university is committing to a range of measure to reduce costs and enhance the sustainability of the institution, one of which will unfortuantely include increases in tuition. These measures are aimed at eliminating the $16m shortfall that would otherwise accumulate over the next 4 years while maintaining institutional integrity and quality of programming.
Highlights of CBU Tuition Policy
1) At the end of the next four years, all CBU students will pay average to below average tuition for comparable programs in Nova Scotia (benchmarked against the other main universities).
2) At the end of four years, Nova Scotia students will still be paying less (net) than they were in 2006 (adjusted for inflation) for both tuition and mandatory fees.
3) The tuition increase for 2015-16 will be 3% for all students.
4) The tuition increase in the three subsequent years will average less than 6% per annum in order to meet the current average tuition rate for the Province.
5) Assuming we are successful with our cost reduction strategy a new needs-based bursary program will be designed by Student Services with the help of the Students' Union, starting at $100,000 in 2015-16, and projected to rise to $800,000 per annum over 4 years. It is hoped that this bursary will be important in addressing the financial needs of students experiencing hardship. A public campaign will also be launched to build this bursary fund.