Re: "Tuition costs must be curbed," Aug. 25.
Society has long understood that putting money into higher education brings excellent returns. Yet as the editorial notes, access to higher education is becoming increasingly difficult and prohibitively expensive.
One reason for this is that the B.C. Liberal government has continued the 30-year trend of reducing the amount of inflation-adjusted funding per student.
B.C.'s university professors have long asked for an increase to the amount of needs-based undergraduate scholarships, as well as additional support for graduate students. This would have direct benefits to B.C. students in reducing the total debt burden upon graduation and increasing accessibility.
While there is no doubt that operating costs of universities have risen, some of that is due to upper-and middle-management bloat. But part of that bloat is attributable to the increasing regulatory burden the provincial government places on universities. Although the Liberals have done a great deal to reduce red tape for business, they have also done more to increase red tape for higher education than any previous provincial government.
University administrators certainly have a big role to play in managing costs, but if the provincial government would stop increasing regulatory costs and decreasing per-student funding, it would be much easier to do.
Perhaps this is the time that government directs those administrators to develop a more co-operative approach to managing the financial affairs of these institutions through greater involvement of faculty and staff.
Richard Kool President, Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C.
© Copyright 2013