UBC releases next year’s budget, says ‘tough decisions’ needed to be made

UBC has released its budget for the 2015-2016 year.

At the April 14 Board of Governors meeting, the Board voted to approve the budget. Most of the discussion around the budget took place in private meetings until a summarized version was released online on Wednesday afternoon.

"It hasn't been an easy process to put the budget together," said UBC President Arvind Gupta at the Board of Governors meeting. "We are in a period where government grants are still falling and, for the most part, tuition is capped, which means that our budget is not keeping up with inflation. So really tough decisions are being made on how to balance the budget."

According to the statement that summarizes the budget, the university plans to continue improving its academic mission despite cuts from the provincial government through reallocation of funds.

"Our aspiration is to be counted among the best global institutions," reads UBC's statement. "To achieve this, UBC needs to recruit the best faculty; increase and improve experiential learning; attract the best graduate students and post-doctoral fellows; and ensure that innovation runs through everything we do."

Next year, the university plans to allocate $16 million into individual faculties, $6 million into financial aid, mental health resources and improving campus life for students and $4.5 million into the university's investments. The university also plans to invest part of the funds into the Student Information System and a new administration program review.

UBC will also be taking money from individual faculty budgets and the central budget in order to make up for the 1.35 per cent funding cut from the provincial government. $6 million from the central budget is also being reallocated to support faculties and the university's investments.

The statement also said that the international tuition and residence fee increases that were approved earlier in the year will also go towards making up for this deficit.

According to Gupta, the Board's primary goal has been to balance the budget and continue investing in areas that will enhance the international reputation of the university to in ways that will cause the least amount of cutbacks for individual groups.

"It's not a black and white situation," said Gupta. "You don't always know which specific initiatives align with the core mission of the university. It's hard to always see the ripple effects for some of these things."