Statement from President Dr. Annette Trimbee

Statement regarding Manitoba Government proposed legislation

“The University of Winnipeg is deeply committed to providing high-quality education that is accessible. Manitoba is the most affordable place in Western Canada for students to go to university. We don’t have all the answers today: most importantly we need to know how the province’s student aid program changes will help low-income students, and what annual grant the province will provide towards our operating budget.  We remain committed to working in a collaborative manner with our faculty, staff, students and the province to find a balanced and realistic approach as we pursue our strategic directions. A strong post-secondary system is an investment in Manitoba’s future and critical to the knowledge economy.”  Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg

BACKGROUND – MEDIA QUICK FACTS

Tuition – how Manitoba compares

Tuition fees were frozen in Manitoba for a decade by the provincial government followed by several years of modest increases tied to the cost of living. Manitoba currently has the third lowest tuition rates for post-secondaries in Canada (only Quebec and Newfoundland/Labrador are lower). Tuition for a full time annual course load:

  • Canadian average = $6,373
  • Western Canadian average = $6,153
  • Manitoba average = $4,058

We have the lowest tuition rate in Western Canada.

Statistics Canada Centre for Education Statistics (2015)

Tuition – how UWinnipeg compares

  • Tuition makes up 1/3 of our operating budget.
  • For the average UWinnipeg student (who takes 3.5 courses per academic year) a tuition increase of  5% plus 1.3% would equal approximately $180 per year. For a full time student taking 5 courses per academic year, the increase would be $250 annually.

UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG – OUR FISCAL SNAPSHOT

We are financially responsible.

  • Since July 2016, we have eliminated 15% of our senior management positions.
  • Over the past decade, we have streamlined administrative operations and cut more than $16 million in annual expenses from our operating budget.
  • Our administrative costs as a percentage of budget is among the lowest in the country.
  • We have negotiated collective agreements with the majority of our professors and staff until 2019-2020.

We do more with less.

  • Manitoba has among the lowest tuition rates for post-secondaries in Canada.
  • UWinnipeg also receives a proportionately smaller annual operating grant per student from the province than any of the other Manitoba universities. The University of Manitoba and Brandon University receive almost double per student. This disparity goes back decades.
  • The Manitoba government gave us a special “catch up” $1.5 million grant last year. While helpful, we continue to operate with a significant funding gap.
  • UWinnipeg receives $27 million less per year to work with than similar-sized institutions across Canada, for example, Lakehead, Laurentian, and Lethbridge Universities.
  • Manitoba remains among the most affordable provinces for international students to study.

We are working hard to be innovative and bring in new revenue.

  • Our three year budget strategy works to increase revenues through units such as parking, leases to third parties, our Foundation, Professional, Applied and Continuing Education, English Language Programs, and UWinnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation, which together bring us about $800,000 annually.
  • We are also working hard to identify more external research funding sources for faculty and developing other collaborative partnerships.

We are an investment in Manitoba’s future.

  • We are growing leaders. We have more than 50,000 graduates and 80% of those who graduate from university in Manitoba stay here. 
  • Our graduates help drive the Manitoba and Canadian knowledge economy.
  • They are teachers, computer programmers, scientists, researchers, artists, writers and entrepreneurs.
  • In Manitoba, the job market has shifted significantly in the past two decades from manufacturing to technical, professional and management positions. Manitoba jobs requiring a university degree have doubled from 70,000 to 140,000.
  • The majority of large employers surveyed in Canada cite people skills, communications and problem-solving skills, analytical abilities and leadership as top qualities needed for new hires. University graduates come with these transferable skill sets.

 

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