KAMLOOPS — This week, Thompson River University added their voice to the TRU Faculty Association and TRU Student Unions’ call for improved funding from the provincial government.
Tuesday, Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training was at Thompson Rivers University to help announce the school’s new Software Engineering program and was asked about the funding formula shortfall TRU says they’re experiencing. Mark says the issue of funding certainly isn’t unique to Thompson Rivers University
“When I toured all 25 [post-secondary education] institutions in three weeks, every institution talked to me about funding cuts,” Mark says.
Minister Mark was quick to highlight her government’s work to try and address the issue of affordability in higher education since they took power in June 2017, saying the policies of the previous BC government are the reason post-secondary institutions in the province lack the required funding and that in many cases the perceived funding inequality between institutions stems from the different programs each school offers.
“The former government was going down a path of privatizing our public institutions,” Mark explains. “The equity is an issue I’m not ignoring. I’m working with my ministry staff and leaning in, but I think e have to address the fact that there’s a bit of a myth. There’s FTE funding, there’s block funding that gives flexibility to the institutions so they can invest in the areas that important to them. Not all seats are the same. A medical seat is very different from an arts seat.”
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