Stable multi-year funding for universities still missing from Manitoba’s budget

Apr 3, 2024 | Legislation Tracker, News, Uncategorized

WINNIPEG (TREATY 1 TERRITORY) – A 43 million dollar investment in universities, colleges, and apprenticeships in this year’s budget is welcomed by the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA). However, it does not adequately make up for the years of neglect of the post-secondary sector by consecutive governments. While this support for advanced education acknowledges that Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions are indispensable in meeting the needs of Manitobans, creating good jobs, a strong economy, and vibrant communities, MOFA has been calling for stable, multi-year funding that would allow universities to better plan and build the post-secondary sector that is an engine for the Manitoban economy.

“Multi-year funding commitments for universities help educators to meet core programming needs and provide students with more choice and certainty as they plan their education and futures,” said Allison McCulloch, MOFA President. “Unpredictable funding stifles innovation at universities which are unable to plan from year to year, and therefore struggle to make substantial commitments and changes to the ways they research, make discoveries, build knowledge, and educate future generations.”

While increased investments are welcomed, MOFA cautions the government on their focus on connecting post-secondary education investments to labour market needs.

“Educating and training our future generations is a function of universities, it would be unwise for the Kinew government to only invest in universities for the sake of labour market needs,” says McCulloch. “Years of experience and research show us that governments are notoriously bad at predicting labour market needs, and often get it very wrong when they direct universities where and how they should be educating people. Investments that respect university autonomy will ultimately benefit the province the most.”

MOFA welcomes the creation of more than 40 new child-care centres to be located in schools and on post-secondary education campuses and the pledge to increase financial aid support for students. Both commitments support a more accessible path to advanced education. MOFA urges the government to prioritize the reinstatement of healthcare for international students.

The Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) is comprised of members of faculty associations from Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, University of Manitoba, and the University of Winnipeg representing over 1,600 individual academic staff. MOFA is a proud member of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. We are based on both Treaty 1 and Treaty 2 territories, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.