The Saskatchewan government is giving Saskatchewan students and universities the run around.
It’s a difficult time to be a student, according to the Canadian Federation of Students. The average student loan debt for a Canadian student is $27,000. It isn’t a surprise students are having a hard time affording to pay for school.
To balance their budget the University of Regina will raise tuition by four per cent in the fall and asked the Saskatchewan government to match the tuition increase with a four per cent increase to the base operating grant.
The government responded by budgeting a two per cent increase to the base operating grant and asked Saskatchewan’s universities to find efficiencies.
The problem is the universities have already found efficiencies. The U of R, for example, have left the vice-president of external relations and associate vice-president positions vacant to cut costs and to run a balanced budget, which the U of R has been able to accomplish for 20 years.
It’s time for the government to open up their wallet and show Saskatchewan’s universities that they are crucial to both our province’s success and our young peoples’ future.
The government is short-sighted in their approach to helping students with the financial burdens they collect through their post-secondary careers.
In 2008, the Wall Government started the Graduate Retention Program, which will refund students who live in Saskatchewan after they graduate up to $20,000 of tuition fees over a 7 year span.
It’s a great program that will help students with their student loan burdens. But it’s a band-aid on a gun shot wound. It doesn’t solve the problem.
The government needs to continue to push universities to cut inefficiencies. This is important. But, it’s also time for the government to invest more money in our province’s universities.
Our students’ futures depend on it.
All editorials are written by the Times-Herald editorial staff.