Selkirk College President Angus Graeme is happy about a number of announcements in this week’s provincial budget. First is the elimination of interest on student loans effective immediately. According to the BC government, this means an average graduate would save $2,300 in interest, based on a $28,000 combined federal and provincial loan with a 10-year repayment period.
Another thing that could be a benefit for the college is funding for technology related programs, says Graeme.
“We’ve got two new programs in the books and in the works for launching in the next year and 18 months, so we’ll be looking to see how we can access some of that funding to support the delivery of programs in high tech.”
He says the cap on increases to tuition will also remain at two percent and it looks like post-secondary institutions will receive a slight increase in capital funding, with are both positives. Another area the government may provide some support is around the housing shortage.
“There’s support for student housing, on campus student housing, was in the budget,” says Graeme. “We’ll be focusing fairly quickly here on how Selkirk College can benefit from that policy direction.”
Although it’s overall a positive budget for the college, they’re still hopeful for some funds to come through for specific programming. Graeme says Selkirk College is among the nine out of 25 post-secondary institutions not yet receiving funds for reconciliation work and Indigenization.
“We’ve been advocating fairly strongly that we’ve got a lot of really great projects and students and people who would love to see reconciliation and Indigenization, for our not only for our Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit students but also for all of our students and staff.”
For more details on the provincial budget, click here.