In response to government cutting MUN’s operational funding by $20,000,000, The University was forced to consider increasing tuition fees to make up the difference. Today, as they gathered themselves together to vote on the matter, students protested outside their offices.
The end result was something of a compromise: while standard tuition for local undergrads and international students will remain unchanged, grad student tuition will increase by 30%. This will cost MUN grad students an additional ~$800 a year, earning the university an additional $2,000,000 a year. Residence fees will also go up by the same amount (30%). This change will come into play as of the fall 2016 semester. Not 2015.
The university will also enact a one-time cut to admin costs of $1,300,000, “and an ongoing base budget reduction of $3.6 million to administrative/support expenditures for all units.”
Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor, says “Extensive consultation and incredible co-operation across the institution resulted in a budget proposal that balances our complex fiscal reality with our mandate to deliver excellent academic programs. All sectors of the university community are contributing to addressing the shortfall.”
Even with these measures, the university expects to be $800,000 short of balancing its budget for 2015-16. “This year’s level of cost-cutting cannot be absorbed again without further impacts,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “Next year if there are further reductions in government funding, further tuition fee increases and budget cuts will have to be considered.We take seriously our special responsibility as the province’s only university and within that responsibility we continue to strive for affordability, accessibility, growth and quality.”