On Campus

Enrolment outpaces university funding increases: AUCC

Says spending on higher ed equal to Britain and Australia but falling behind U.S.

According to the leading post-secondary lobby group, universities in Canada are increasingly strapped for cash.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) has released a report entitled Trends in Higher Education on Wednesday that says that per-student funding has decreased even as overall funding has increased. Simply put, more people are pursuing higher education and funding hasn’t kept up.

According to the AUCC, funding per Canadian student is around $21,000. Public universities in the United States receive $29,000, or $8,000 more per student. British funding is expected to jump ahead in the coming years and are currently sitting at just under $21,000 per student. Funding to Australian institutions recently spiked to a number comparable to Canadian levels.

The report does not focus on private institutions, but it does confirm that their per-student funding is often significantly higher than public institutions in the U.S.:

“On average, private not-for-profit [U.S.] universities and colleges typically have about 30 percent more revenues per student to support teaching and research than their public sector peers in the U.S. Again, the range is quite wide and the doctoral and medical schools will have far greater competitive funding advantages.”

Dalhousie University president and AUCC chair Tom Traves told the Globe and Mail’s Elizabeth Church that the report was “a wake-up call.”