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Approved 2021-22 U of R Budget

Approved 2021-22 U of R Budget

The University of Regina’s Board of Governors approved its 2021-22 budget on May 4, 2021.

The total operating budget for the University includes revenues of $237.3 million against expenditures of $240.8 million. A temporary shortfall is a direct result of the ongoing financial pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University will absorb the 2021-22 shortfall and anticipates revenues will trend toward pre-pandemic levels starting next year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the University absorb a temporary shortfall?

The University is facing a temporary shortfall as a direct result of financial pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans to manage it through a one-time adjustment to its standard carry forward mechanism.

What is the impact on tuition and fees?

As part of the budget approval process, the Board approved a four per cent increase to most tuition rates and fees for 2021-22.

Even with this increase, the University of Regina’s total tuition and fee structure is mid-range in comparison to other Canadian institutions in total cost to undergraduate students and at the bottom (lowest cost) for tuition and fees for graduate students in Canada.

The four per cent increase provides us the ability to avoid cuts to programming, maintain the high-quality teaching and research we offer today, as well as provide students with access to much-needed services, such as mental health resources.

Is tuition increasing by 4 per cent across all programs?

A four per cent increase will apply to most tuition rates and fees for 2021-22, beginning in the Fall 2021 term, with the following exceptions:

  • The Faculty of Business Administration (undergraduate program) – a 5.2 per cent increase will replace a “Pin to Ring” program fee that is being eliminated,yielding an actual net increase of 2.4 per cent for students;
  • The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Master of Public Administration, Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Policy, and PhD programs) – a 6 per cent increase; and,
  • The Faculty of Science (Master of Computer Science) – a new tuition structure in Computer Science for the new course-based, professionally-focused Master of Science programs in Data Science and Human-Centred Computing.

Are there any additional fee increases?

The Distance Delivery Fee previously charged only on web-delivered courses has been replaced with a new Academic Technology Fee of $22.25 per semester.  This fee will enable investments in technology and tools supporting course delivery.

What is the University of Regina doing to ensure post-secondary education remains affordable?

The University has made every effort to ease financial pressures on students, including:

  • Freezing tuition and fees last year due to the pandemic;
  • Funding and managing two Student Emergency Funds which provided more than $415,000 to students in financial need;
  • Making it quicker and easier for students to transfer credits from other post-secondary institutions, saving them an estimated $18.3 million in tuition over the last five years;
  • Continuing to rank among the top Canadian universities in supporting students through scholarship and bursary funding;
  • Freezing residence rates for students who choose to live on campus and offering financial awards to new students, returning students, Indigenous students, international students and 2SLGBTQ+ students to support them living on campus;
  • Expanding the number of courses that feature Zero-Cost Materials or Open Education Resources, thereby saving students money on course materials; and,
  • Creating more employment opportunities for students at the University of Regina.

What will this mean for international student tuition?

Similar to domestic students, international students will see a four per cent increase apply to most tuition rates and fees for 2021-22.

What impact has the reduction of international students had on the budget?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted international enrolment, and will continue to do so in the coming months. The University brought in $2 million less than was expected in 2020-21. This budget prepares the institution for continued challenges in international student enrolments flowing from visa and travel issues that are not anticipated to be resolved until 2022.

What is the University doing to reduce expenditures?

During the past several years, the University has focused efforts on reducing expenditures. Some examples of this work include:

  • The University is implementing a number of projects that will result in efficiencies including signing on as the first Saskatchewan post-secondary institute to MyCredsTM | MesCertifTM, a service that enables students and recent graduates to directly access to their official digitized transcripts and other documents, eliminating staff time in processing document requests, the cost and time frame in mailing or couriering documents, and the potential of lost documents;
  • Human Resources has implemented similar cost saving measures, including moving to electronic recruitment and performance review processes, cutting down on paper usage and staff time;
  • Facilities Management has overseen a reduction of the University’s electrical energy intensity (kWh/sq ft) by 32.6 per cent during the last 10 years. Despite significantly increased enrolment – and the addition of new infrastructure on campus – ongoing efficiency measures have decreased the University’s energy intensity.  If the University’s electrical intensity had remained consistent with 2011 levels, the institution would be spending an additional $446,000 on energy and a further $144,000 in carbon tax in 2021 alone; and,
  • The University has outlined an ambitious goal within its 2020-25 Strategic Plan: to achieve a 25% reduction in its environmental footprint. The University is examining the reuse or rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, water efficiency, energy efficiency, use of sustainable materials, construction waste management, and optimizing operational and maintenance practices which will result in additional cost savings.

What is the University doing to generate new revenues?

The University is actively generating revenue and working to identify new revenue streams on a regular basis.

Some examples of non-tuition revenue streams include:

Fundraising

The University has an active fundraising team that works to secure funds to support student scholarships, bursaries and awards, as well as research, infrastructure, and special projects.

  • Since 2016-17, this team has increased fundraising revenue by more than 100 per cent – $4.9 million in 2016-17 to $10.3 million in 2019-20.
  • For every dollar invested in University fundraising, the team returns $8.75 to the institution.

Research revenue

The University’s research revenue through funding sources (such as tri-council, CRC, etc.) has grown from $15.4M in 2016-17 to $27.9M in 2019-20.

Teaching revenue

The Centre for Continuing Education is rapidly responding to market demands. For example, it has implemented a new Business Essentials Program which provides guidance and training for Saskatchewan businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What was the impact of the provincial budget announcement on the University of Regina?

The University of Regina, together with Saskatchewan’s other post-secondary institutions, entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Province of Saskatchewan in 2021-22 that provides stable base funding.

Given the financial challenges facing governments across the country, including the Government of Saskatchewan, the multi-year funding commitment provides the University with stability. While the University of Regina and other post-secondary institutions won’t see increases in base funding over the next four years, there will not be cuts to manage either. This is welcome news, particularly in light of reductions to post-secondary funding in other provinces.

Additional non-based funds of nearly $5.5 million in each of years one and two are intended aid in institutional COVID-19 pandemic recovery, off-setting some of the financial impact of the pandemic. The funds are also earmarked, as outlined within the MOU, to assist the University in transitioning to a more financially sustainable future, funding projects or initiatives that generate new revenue streams, enable greater cost efficiencies, and provide for increased sector-wide collaboration.



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