Press Release: Students and faculty at the U of S are deeply concerned following the provincial budget

Saskatoon – The recently announced provincial budget will have substantial negative consequences on post-secondary education in Saskatchewan.

The dramatic reduction in operating funds after multiple years of provincial government cut backs and claw backs is jeopardizing the quality, affordability and accessibility of advanced education in Saskatchewan. Our Universities and post-secondary institutions serve the public good, add to the economy and are cherished by the people of the province. They must be appropriately funded to maintain and grow what we have.

Ziad Ghaith, President of the Graduate Student’s Association at the U of S, said “The reduction to the base funding for post-secondary institutions, the elimination of tax credits for education, the cut in scholarship funding, and the suspension of Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings will further impoverish students.” The costs associated with high quality degree programs have been increasing, and students are already offsetting those costs through higher tuition. Average tuition at the U of S has increased more than 18 percent since the 2012-13 academic year. This year it was the highest in Western Canada and next year it will increase yet again by a further 2.3 per cent.

“Our students represent the future of business and entrepreneurship, health and research, in a prosperous, caring and creative Saskatchewan. Operating funds from the provincial government are an investment in them,” said U of S Faculty Association Chair Len Findlay, adding, “But it’s about more than students. Public post-secondary institutions thrive only as a result of stable, adequate public funding. Any departure from this model harms the universities and harms us all.”

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The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) is a non-for-profit organization representing the over 4000 graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan.

The U of S Faculty Association is the certified bargaining agent for approximately 1100 academic employees at the University of Saskatchewan.

For further information:
Len Findlay, Chair USFA, 306-966-5609
Zaid Ghaith, President GSA, 306-966-8471