In light of the government directive to constrain salaries of university employees, it is important to remember that the funding it provides is not only a sound investment in the Saskatchewan economy, but also one that will shape the province’s future for better or worse. We have been building for years to attract the “best and brightest” to the U of S as one of Canada’s U15. Is now the time to lose ground?
A recent study of the economic impact of the U of S found that our impact on the provincial economy is more than that of any other university in Canada, and of greater importance to the provincial economy than any of our U15 peers. Our per capita contribution to the provincial economy was found to be $1,522.
About 1.5% of the provincial economy is tied to the U of S, our University supports just under 12,000 jobs in Saskatchewan (just under 8,000 jobs at the U of S alone), and we attract new talent and business to the province that would not otherwise come here.
Our students also represent the future of business and entrepreneurship, health and research, and creative industries in Saskatchewan. Operating funds from the provincial government are also an investment in them. The costs associated with offering high quality degree programs have been increasing, and students are already offsetting those costs through higher tuition. Tuition for the next academic year will increase by an overall weighted average of 2.3 per cent, when 2016-17 tuition at the U of S was the highest in Western Canada.
Our university is well worth the investment.