Reality Check: The Drummond Report is a cut any way you slice it

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The Drummond Report claims that it “protects annual growth in postsecondary funding at a time when many other public services will be rationalized.” True, it does recommend that postsecondary expenditures continue to increase by 1.5 per cent per year. But a quick look at the data reveals the truth: Drummond actually recommending a severe cut to the operating budgets of our institutions.

On the commission’s own assumptions and proposals – 1.7 per cent annual enrolment growth, 1.9 per cent annual inflation, and 1.5 per cent annual increases in postsecondary funding – per student funding will decline by 12 per cent between now and 2017-18.

If university funding is allocated according to the enrolment balance of college, undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible for funding, inflation-adjusted provincial funding per college student could fall by $790, and per undergraduate student could decline by almost $940. For graduate students, the reduction could be $2,280.

You can call a cut an increase, Mr. Drummond, but you can’t hide the data.

Source: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for enrolment data; Ministry of Finance for Expenditure Estimates.

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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