The BC government announced it’s launching a funding review of all 25 public post-secondary institutions within the province.
Anndra Graff, vice president of finance and corporate services for Northern Lights College, says NLC welcomes the review.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Anndra says. “It’s a big deal, it’s going to be a big project with lots of stakeholders, the list they were consulting with is quite extensive, which is good.”
The current funding model has not been updated for more than 20 years and has left some institutions feeling the pinch. The geographic location of NLC’s campuses leads to constraints an institution in southern BC doesn’t face.
“One of the other things we’re looking at is the cost of operating in the North,” says Anndra. Additional shipping costs, keeping buildings heated, and snow removal are just a few examples.
NLC has already established a committee made up of members of the Leadership team to gather the potentially necessary data to give to the review panel.
The review will only focus on block funding the college receives for its operations, which is based on the previous year’s grants. Targeted funding, which includes things like special projects and targeted training, are not included in the review.
The review will help the government update and modernize the funding model for all public post-secondary institutions. It aims to establish a funding model that fairly and impartially distributes resources, align funding with the educational needs of British Columbians, and ensure access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education and the expansion of student supports.
The first phase of the review will begin with targeted engagement with key sector partners, student, labour and sector associations, and public post-secondary institutions. A process for engaging with Indigenous Peoples will be co-developed with Indigenous partners.
The initial engagement will be led by Don Wright, an economist with experience in the academic, government, and private sectors. He will provide a final report of key findings to the government by summer 2023, which will be made public.