Local universities react to provincial funding injection, ‘significant challenges’ remain

Despite an injection of funding from the provincial government, two local post-secondary institutions are concerned about their financial futures.

The Ontario government announced the $1.3 billion funding injection earlier this week, but the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University said there’s still work to be done.

A statement made on behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University said they “welcome the injection of funds, but the ongoing tuition freeze and uncertainty of the international study permit cap remain significant challenges for their university and the sector at large.”

They added that, over the past few years, “all universities in Ontario have faced a 10 per cent domestic tuition cut and subsequent tuition freeze, in addition to facing a multi-year freeze on operating grants.”

They said its caused spending cuts at the school to “ensure lean and efficient operations.”

A spokesperson from the University of Waterloo echoed those same concerns, but applauded the government for allowing the advanced research computing infrastructure, an important component of Canada’s digital research infrastructure, to continue.

“We will continue to advocate with the government for a sustainable funding model that provides predictability for students and their families, universities and the communities we serve,” said a spokesperson for Wilfrid Laurier University.

Both institutions experienced major operating budget deficits last year, and said they will review the specifics of the announcement to determine its impacts further.

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