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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2009

Funding on Rebound, According to Report

Public spending on Canadian universities and university colleges posted a modest rebound in 2007–2008 after years of declining funding, new figures show.

But compared to previous dec­ades, government operating grants now account for less than 58% of total university operating revenues.

In fiscal 2008, university revenues reached an all-time high of $26.8 billion — an increase, unadjusted for inflation, of 2.8% over the previous year as public operating grants rose by 3.8%.

Other statisticss reported in CAUT’s September 2009 Educa­tion Review University Finances, 2007-2008 reveal that:

• The largest increases in total university revenues over the previous year were recorded in Alberta (8.9%), British Columbia (7.0%) and Manitoba (5.0%). By contrast, total revenues in New Brunswick decreased by 7.8%.

• Total provincial operating funding, when adjusted for inflation, continued to recover from the low levels experienced earlier this decade, and was 46.3% higher in 2008 than in 1992.

• The greatest sources of relative growth in university revenues in 2007-2008 were total provincial funding (11.2%) and capital revenues (61.7%).

• In 2008 provincial operating funding grew faster than tuition revenues in every province except Ontario and Quebec. Tuition revenues rose fastest in Quebec (8.9%), Ontario (6.1%) and British Columbia (3.8%).

• After years of decline, revenues for capital stock expenditures ($1.8 billion) are now significantly higher than they were throughout the period from the late 1970s until the late 1990s.

• In 2008, spending on academic rank salaries as a share of total expenditures held steady at 19.5% of total university expenditures.