The Ring

Cassels makes case to BC government

Mon, 2013-09-30 11:41

As the BC government considers priorities for the next provincial budget, University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels has made a strong case for the important value that BC research universities bring to BC and the public interest in a thriving post secondary system.

Appearing before the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services with a joint presentation, Cassels and Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon said their institutions have been fiscally prudent in responding to current financial realities, but further reductions in the government’s operating grant will adversely affect the quality of education.

They emphasized that universities and colleges are essential to BC’s success by educating students in a variety of programs and disciplines, so they can be successful in today’s society and labour market—and in tomorrow’s. As well, the unique role of research and experiential learning at universities was noted for helping produce innovative graduates who can apply new technologies and critical thinking to a fast-changing global environment.

Two representatives from the University of Victoria Students’ Society, Director of External Relations Rachel Barr and Director of Student Affairs Nadia Hampton, also appeared before the committee Sept. 26. Presentations were limited to 10 minutes.

The hearings are part of the province-wide public consultations held each fall on the next provincial budget. British Columbians can participate by presenting at a public hearing, making a written submission, or by completing an on-line survey. The committee is required to report on the results of the consultations by Nov. 15.

The presentation by Cassels and Cahoon, who appeared on behalf of the Research Universities’ Council of BC, is available on the president’s section of the UVic website at uvic.ca/president/about/talks/index.php