Winnipeg, MB – The University of Manitoba passed its 2019-20 operating budget yesterday through the Board of Governors. In contrast to last year, University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) representatives, President Jakob Sanderson and Vice-President Advocacy Sarah Bonner-Proulx, voted in support of the budget despite voicing concerns over this year’s tuition increase of 3.75% after last year’s 6.6% increase. Following UMSU’s year-long lobbying efforts, major successes include an additional $500,000 allocated toward undergraduate bursaries, as well as $250,000 toward sexual violence reduction initiatives.
The newly allocated $500,000 for undergraduate bursaries will see a significant portion go to support international students in financial hardship, following the Government of Manitoba’s withdrawal of health care coverage for international students in 2018. The $250,000 allocated for sexual violence reduction initiatives is expected to help fund a sexual violence resource and support centre to open within the next year, achieving a major advocacy goal for UMSU and all students.
In the midst of the Government of Manitoba’s continued cuts to the University of Manitoba’s operating budget of approximately $6M over two years, UMSU recognizes the difficult position the University faces in ensuring appropriate funding is available to support a quality education and maintain its campuses. The Government’s decision to cut significant funding for post-secondary education is a short-sighted economic policy and an attack against students, given the correlation between a society’s education level and its economic wellbeing.
UMSU will continue efforts to advocate for University of Manitoba students against a provincial government that has demonstrated it does not value post-secondary education.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Jakob Sanderson, UMSU President
The University of Manitoba Students’ Union is the official representative of the over 25,000 undergraduate students at the University of Manitoba.