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.