Membership Advisory: NL Budget 2016

GRANTS

5.5 MILLION DOLLAR CUT

The reintroduction of provincial student loans will disproportionately impact some of the province’s most vulnerable students.

The needs-based grants program has been proven to reduce student debt. Ensuring new graduates are able to afford
to buy homes, start families, take the risks associated with entrepreneurship and do all of the things that stimulate our economy is important now more than ever.

The elimination of the loans program in favour of needs based grants was so successful in supporting our most vulnerable students in accessing post-secondary education that jurisdictions across the country, including our federal government, have been moving towards student nancial assistance programs modelled after Newfoundland and Labrador’s. This cut is a step in the wrong direction.

Saddling our most vulnerable students with massive debt is not the way to a stronger economy, now or for the future.

TUITION FEES

5.1 MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT

$1.1 million has been provided to the College of the North Atlantic for the continuation of the tuition fee freeze. The provincial government has provided $4.0 million to the university for the maintenance of a tuition fee freeze. It is our position that the university must maintain a freeze on all tuition and ancillary fees for all students. As a public institution Memorial must be accountable to the people of this province and spend this funding in the way it has been intended.

CUT TO MUN

14 MILLION DOLLAR CUT

Memorial University, while still dealing with the fallout of a massive budget cut in 2015, has faced yet another signi cant cut. Chronic underfunding erodes the quality of programs and services that students rely on. We cannot maintain high-quality, accessible post- secondary education without adequate government funding.

We all must remain vigilant to ensure that these cuts have as little impact as possible on the student experience. Our highly paid administrators must be accountable to the university community.

REVIEW OF CNA

Budget 2016 documents describe “Engaging with the College of the North Atlantic in a review to ensure the college is best meeting the needs of students and its course offerings are optimized and responsive to shifting labour demands.”

Governments sometimes use the guise of a review to propose cuts to public services in a more palatable form. We will work to ensure students’ voices are heard during this review process and will not allow government to make cuts to our public college system – a system that is vital to the social and economic well-being of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

ADDITIONAL CHANGES

  • $3.2 million cut to the Research and Development Corporation.
  • Cuts to Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine including a reduction in the operational grant of $4 million annually.
  • Introduction of new fees for apprentices.
  • Reduction and subsequent elimination of post-secondary and apprenticeship scholarships.
  • Integration of the Post-Secondary Training Services Program for persons with disabilities into the Student Loan Program.

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