Enhancing the Student Experience is a Top Priority

As UWinnipeg Board of Regents Approves Balanced Budget

Students are the top priority in the approved 2007/08 budget by the Board of Regents on June 4, 2007.UWinnipeg students can look forward to continued improvements to both the programming and services offered to them this year. The University plans to recruit more top-quality professors, improve fitness facilities on campus, as well as provide science students with updated laboratory equipment and education students with an enhanced practicum for professional preparation.

UWinnipeg will introduce a number of new and expanded initiatives that include:

  • Recruiting 12 academic positions;
  • Purchasing a new Magnetic Resonance machine for the Faculty of Science;
  • Creating a new Urban Studies interdisciplinary program; and
  • Supporting a new on-line registration process for the 2008-09 Academic year.

“Thanks to the cooperative and diligent work of our faculty and staff, along with an increase in provincial support, The University of Winnipeg and its Board of Regents have been able to deliver a balanced budget,” stated Board Chair Terry Hidichuk. “It is a budget that will enhance the student experience and ensure we continue to recruit and retain the best faculty. Delivering quality post-secondary education is a top priority for all members of the community-faculty, students, staff, alumni, the public, and government. The support for this year’s budget reflects that fact.”

The approved budget of $95.74 million – a 3.2 per cent (or $2.9 million) increase over last year – includes a balanced operating budget of $90.384 million and a balanced capital budget of $5.357 million. This came about through prudent fiscal management by all UWinnipeg faculty and staff and with an increase to the operating grant announced by the Province of Manitoba in its 2007 Budget.

The administration has reduced its total operational budgets by 3.5 per cent or $3 million and staff positions remain static as a result of rigorous cost reductions.

There will be no increases to base tuition fees for individual students; however The Board approved two new dedicated student fees specifically tied to program improvements and escalating cost of lab supplies. Since 1999, lab fees have not increased while the estimated cost of laboratory supplies has jumped by more than 50 per cent.

“These new measures will allow The University of Winnipeg to significantly improve the quality of education we offer our students,” stated UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. “Post-secondary education is a highly-competitive business and we want to offer our students and faculty the best experience for learning and teaching. And we want to keep them here in Manitoba.”

One is a new non-refundable variable lab fee that will apply to lab courses in Applied Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Physics as well as select courses in Kinesiology & Applied Health, Psychology and Theatre & Film. These fees will help cover the escalating costs of lab supplies and help to upgrade equipment associated with the labs. These new fees are expected to provide an extra $90,000 to the Faculty of Science and $45,000 for the Faculty of Arts that will go directly to purchase modern lab equipment.

Education students taking teaching courses will see an enhanced practicum for professional preparation. A new non-refundable Practicum Fee of $125 per block of practicum will be introduced for participating students in year 4 and 5. Additionally, second-year B.Ed students will see a $50 increase and third-year students a $75 increase. A total of $152,000 will be collected in new Practicum Fees – which are on par with The University of Manitoba – and will help defray the costs in administering the student practicum program.

A new University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) Athletic levy overwhelmingly approved by the students last March will be introduced this year to help support renovations to the Duckworth Centre that includes an expanded fitness facility. This annual fee of $35, allows all students unlimited access to the Fitness Centre and its modern cardio and weight-training equipment, while covering renovation and operating costs for the expanded facility.

The Board of Regents will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 18, 2007.

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