TRENT UNIVERSITY WELCOMES INCREASED OPERATING FUNDS
Trent University today praised the provincial budget for providing full average cost funding for new students enrolling in Ontario's universities.
"The decision to increase operating funds for growth associated with the double cohort from $293 million to $368 is important," says Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice Chancellor. "With this investment, the government is addressing some of the issues anticipated in the system and the need to improve access for students."
Also included in the budget is the introduction of a second round of SuperBuild. Patterson notes that, "Although the budget contains no provision for vital deferred maintenance needs, it does continue the highly successful SuperBuild initiative which is an integral part of Trent's capital development strategy." She emphasizes that the previous SuperBuild program was based on a cost sharing model and that Trent officials will carefully assess the new program's applicability to the university in the coming days.
Additional elements of the budget focusing on investments in research hold the promise of some added benefits for Trent University. The province will invest $250 million over the next five years in the Research and Development Challenge Fund. The Ontario Innovation Trust will increase by $300 million and the Ontario Research Performance Fund will increase by $2 million per year, thereby assisting universities with the indirect costs of research. Trent researchers have received support in the past for their research from these provincial research-funding programs.
"The budget is a helpful step that provides some assistance on the operating side," says Patterson. "The issues of unfunded students and growing deferred maintenance remain. I am hopeful that through dialogue and co-operation, the university sector and the Ministry can continue to make progress on these outstanding issues."
For more information contact:
Bonnie M. Patterson, President and Vice Chancellor, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1313 or
Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224