Despite major financial challenges, the University of Ottawa has approved a balanced budget for 2014-2015. The $1 billion budget will allow the University to make the necessary investments to have the best programs and infrastructure for its students.
The budget approved by the Board of Governors includes an average tuition increase for Canadian students of 3%, as allowed by the Ontario government. It is worth noting that the proportion of University revenue generated by tuition fees for Canadian students is approximately 35%, a figure that hasn't changed in 10 years.
To offset this increase and facilitate access to postsecondary education, the University will allocate an additional $4.6 million to its financial assistance program, an increase of 6.8%. At $72 million, it is one of the most generous programs of its kind in the country.
A difficult challenge
The University of Ottawa is facing major, complex financial challenges. To balance its 2014-2015 budget, it has had to adopt one-time measures that will only have a short-term impact. The long-term situation remains problematic. While University expenses are increasing 4 to 5% a year, annual revenue is only increasing by 1.5%. This shortfall continues to grow, leading to a structural deficit in the order of $41 million this year.
The University would like to deal with this difficult budgetary challenge in the coming months by launching a dialogue that all its members will be invited to take part in. The intent will be to ensure uOttawa's long-term financial viability, so it can meet the ambitious goals in its Destination 2020 strategic plan and consolidate its place among Canada's elite universities.
The University of Ottawa is one of the largest postsecondary education institutions in Canada. This year, it graduated more than 8,000 students. With 42,500 students enrolled each year, it is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. It has an estimated economic impact on the greater Ottawa-Gatineau region of $4.12 billion a year.
Manager, Media Relations
University of Ottawa