The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today released the provincial budget, which included a base operating budget cut of $2.6 million to Memorial University.
As well, for the first year since 2005, the government has not provided funding for the grant in lieu of tuition increases.
“With the announcement that the $68.4-million tuition fee revenue offset will be phased out over the next five years and the end of government support for the tuition freeze, the provincial government has signaled that Memorial should look at all sources of revenue and develop a tuition framework that reflects the cost of providing education,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor.
“We understand the challenging financial situation of the province and that we all, Memorial included, will have to do our part. As we have for the last decade, we will work diligently to find efficiencies, be creative in how we can use our assets to generate revenue and remain committed to meeting the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
President Timmons said that while the analysis of impacts is still ongoing, there will be no new changes to tuition for the 2021-22 academic year as a result of this budget.
Memorial will bring a proposal to its governing Board of Regents in July to adjust tuition rates effective September 2022. While exact details are still under development, this proposal would be based on the following principles:
- Remaining at or below the average tuition fee level in English-speaking Canada.
- Creating a grace period to ensure current students, including those starting their studies in fall 2021, can complete their programs at approximately the same tuition fees as are now in place.
- Working with the provincial government to ensure Newfoundland and Labrador students have access to a needs-based grants program.
The budget also indicated that the provincial government will be revising the Memorial University Act, a recommendation of both the Public Post-Secondary Education Review and the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team report.
“Revising the Memorial University Act to provide more autonomy to our university is a positive step forward,” said Dr. Timmons. “It is time for the act to be updated to better reflect modern post-secondary education governance.”
Memorial will continue to review the budget in detail to understand all implications for the university.