File photo by Advocate staff                                 Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda said the college will look at ways to raise revenue to fill in the funding gaps.

File photo by Advocate staff Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda said the college will look at ways to raise revenue to fill in the funding gaps.

Red Deer College handed a 2.4% drop in provincial funding

Tuition freeze to be lifted in 2020

Red Deer College saw its operational funding reduced by $1.2 million, or 2.4 per cent, in Thursday’s provincial budget, but some other post-secondary institutions experienced even bigger cuts.

Overall provincial funding for post-secondaries was cut by five per cent, but reductions varied for each institution.

“I think that speaks to how they haven’t taken a universal, or broad brush approach, to this. There’s a sensitivity that each institution has particular challenges and budget considerations,” said Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda.

RDC’s operations budget for 2019-20 is $101 million, and the school will receive $48.9 million from the province. In 2018-19, RDC got $50.1 million.

The province also froze infrastructure maintenance funding to post-secondaries for one year, which is a loss of about $2.1 million to RDC.

“We will be working over the next month to identify potential cost savings that we can make, but more importantly, to identify new revenue streams we can take advantage of,” Nunoda said.

He said attracting more international students is one way to address the funding gap. But at no point would international students displace domestic students.

“We are funded to support education for our domestic population, so that’s the first and foremost priority.

“And we will do our utmost not to reduce any kind of student services despite the challenges, because I think students have to be our No. 1 priority.”

Related:

In 2020, the province will eliminate the current tuition freeze. Over the next three years, tuition can increase to a maximum average of seven per cent per year.

In the fourth year, increases will be determined by the Consumer Price Index.

Tuition at RDC has ranged from $3,200 and $7,900 per year, depending on the program and courses. A seven per cent increase means a student would pay $225 to $555 more, or an average of about $390.

Nunoda said the college has one of the lowest tuitions for like-sized institutions with similar programs, and that should continue, since most institutions will likely take advantage of the seven per cent maximum increase.

The tuition hike will apply to new students coming into the system in 2020.

“Students who are already in a program would pay the tuition that they had anticipated from the beginning of the program.”

But in collaborative degree programs, Nunoda did not know how the cost of University of Alberta or Calgary tuition for the third or fourth years could change.

Brittany Lausen, president of the Student’s Association of Red Deer College, said although tuition will increase, her group is thankful for the predictability that comes with a tuition cap.

“(The increase in tuition) is significantly higher than what the Consumer Price Index is estimated to be, but we’re grateful it will go back down after three years,” Lausen said.

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides also wants to maintain student support, she said. “He was very clear with us that these budget cuts are to have as little effect on student supports as possible, which is encouraging to hear.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer College

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham has ambitious plans for the airport. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer Regional Airport revenues climb in 2020

Bringing in more business is the 2021 goal, says director

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Joseph Gallant in March 2019. (Photo from RCMP)
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way. Red Deer property… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Canada's Tyler Ardron, right, tries to block the kick by Italy's Callum Braley during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Fukuoka, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kyodo News via AP
Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

John Velazquez, right, rides Medina Spirit ahead of Florent Geroux aboard Mandaloun to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Canada forward Liam Millar (23) moves the ball past Bermuda defender Eusebio Blankendal (2) during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Raoux
Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Most Read