UPEI Board of Governors approves $120M balanced operating budget

Friday, May 18, 2018

The University of Prince Edward Island Board of Governors approved a balanced operating budget of $120 million for the 2018–19 fiscal year at its May meeting last night.

“The annual operating budget outlines how operating expenditures of the University are funded,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “Our budget process helps us identify opportunities to invest in strategic initiatives that expand UPEI’s community impact and global reach while minimizing the burden of tuition costs on our students.”

One of UPEI’s principal revenue sources is the annual provincial operating grant. As was announced in provincial legislature last month, the Government of Prince Edward Island increased UPEI’s operating grant by two per cent for 2018–19. The Atlantic Veterinary College, which is supported by all four Atlantic Provinces, also saw an increase of one per cent to its operating budget from the PEI government as outlined in the ten-year interprovincial funding agreement.

“This is great news for our University and we are incredibly grateful for the Government’s investment,” commented President Abd-El-Aziz. “The University works very closely with the Government of Prince Edward Island on shared priorities—including the attraction and retention of students from the Island, across Canada, and around the world. This support reflects the importance of postsecondary education to the future wellbeing of our province. It is especially rewarding to see that our collaborative efforts have also resulted in a multi-year funding agreement that will allow the University to better plan for the future.”

Tuition and fee revenues are an important part of UPEI’s plan to balance the operating budget, representing approximately one-third of the operating revenues each year. This year’s budget includes an overall tuition increase of two per cent; this is equivalent to a $12 increase per undergraduate course.

UPEI continues to offer one of the most affordable undergraduate tuition rates in the Maritime Provinces.

“The Student Union has, for the past few years, advocated for tuition hikes to remain below CPI, which is clearly reflected in this budget,” said UPEI Student Union President Will McGuigan. “It is great to see the university administration paying attention to student concerns and recommendations.”

Revenues are used to cover core-operating costs for student and ancillary services, faculties and schools, academic support, administration, and property maintenance activities. The University carefully monitors the fiscal realities associated with increased labour costs, important infrastructure upgrades, increasing supply costs, and inflationary pressures.

“We continue to work diligently to grow revenues to help offset these costs and pressures,” said President Abd-El-Aziz. “We do this by expanding our unique offerings and delivering them in innovative ways. Our recruitment success has led to increased enrolments, allowing us to grow our budget and hire more faculty and staff to support new programming developments.”

In the past two years, UPEI has grown by an unprecedented number of 108 faculty and staff to accommodate new program developments.

In this fiscal year, UPEI will see the infrastructure upgrades to Dalton Hall completed. The Student Experience Hub will be a key component in serving prospective and current students, and in their successful completion of the enrolment process.

The operating budget does not include research funds, which are budgeted separately on a project-by-project basis, but it does include the budget of departments that provide support to research. Capital projects are also budgeted on a project-by-project basis and reported within the capital assets fund.

“UPEI is very proud of the continuing success of our students, faculty, and researchers,” added President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “We have embarked on an exciting journey that has enabled us to re-imagine the many possibilities of what it means to study, explore, create, discover, work, and belong at UPEI. We have ambitious goals and we are managing during challenging times. We are working together as we look ahead and think about what we can do to provide our students with outstanding education, conduct research, and contribute to our community and beyond in new and transformative ways.”

Nicole Phillips
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