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News / 2024 provincial budget roundup

News / 2024 provincial budget roundup

Provincial budgets have rolled out across the country, but have provided little for post-secondary education.

British Columbia
The media and stakeholders consistently described this election-year budget as a status quo budget for post-secondary education. The budget provided an additional $845 million in post-secondary institution spending over the next three years. Unlike many other provinces, it did not include references to program-specific funding.

While Alberta’s provincial budget included additional support for private institutions, operating funding for public universities and colleges was increased by just 1.5%, well below the rate of inflation. The budget highlighted the government’s plan to reduce the public share of operating funding from 48% to 42% in just four years.

Saskatchewan’s election-year budget focused on targeted funding for the province’s universities and colleges. While the budget added a $12 million top-up to university funding agreements, it earmarked $15 million for specific healthcare programs.

Like British Columbia, this year’s budget could be described as status quo, with no big increase to post-secondary education. The government provided a $43 million increase with targeted funding for healthcare programs and “labour-market needs” including $26.6 million for medical doctor training seats and $1.5 million for apprenticeship training. The budget also included money for childcare centres on campuses.

The Ontario budget reiterated funding commitments that the government announced in February of $903 million over three years for institutional operating grants. Ontario institutions have already said that figure falls short of their needs, and a third of universities expect to operate at a loss next year. The budget also committed money for a new medical school at York University but did not specify the amount.

The budget confirmed that Quebec’s new university funding policy will be unveiled in spring 2024 and take effect in the 2024-2025 academic year. Funding for post-secondary education will increase by 3.5% in 2024-2025, lower than in previous budgets. Spending for post-secondary education grew by 35.7% over the last six years, an average of 6% per year.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick’s election-year budget increased funding for university operating grants by $9.4 million or 3.2%.

Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia budget provided targeted funding for healthcare programs and some funding for housing projects. Operating funding for universities failed to keep pace with inflation, with an overall increase of just under 1%. Recent funding agreements for universities provided a 2% increase in annual operating grants for most universities, except Dalhousie. As a proportion of all provincial expenditures, funding for advanced education decreased to 4.4% from 6.3% in 2021-2022.

Prince Edward Island
PEI saw a 1.5% increase in overall funding for post-secondary education. Most of the focus was for healthcare programs with $9.9 million earmarked to build infrastructure for a medical school and a patient medical home at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland and Labrador
This year’s budget continued the rollout of a five-year plan to decrease the tuition offset grant for Memorial University. This year, the grant will fall from $41 million to $27 million. The College of the North Atlantic also saw a 2.6% decrease to operational funding.


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