Winnipeg, MB – In light of the new challenges facing post-secondary students due to the coronavirus, yesterday the Government of Manitoba announced that they will be matching dollar for dollar funds raised by post-secondary institutions for the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) for the 2020/2021 academic year. The announcement also saw the province commit an additional $5 million in baseline funding to the MSBI – from $10 million to $15 million – split among 12 different institutions.
While UMSU acknowledges that this is a step in the right direction and appreciates the province’s enhanced support for students during this uncertain time, we would also like to see the province show a similar commitment to addressing the many serious challenges that Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions are now facing as a result of the global pandemic.
As reported in The Globe and Mail this week, many post-secondary institutions are deeply concerned about the potential for diminished revenue come Fall term, particularly given the high likelihood of reduced student enrolment.
This year is also the third year in a row that the Pallister government has cut operating grants to post-secondary education, pressuring administrators to find creative ways to offer the same quality of education and resources for students who now find themselves facing increased hardship due to the economic and academic disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Said UMSU President, Jelynn Dela Cruz: “Any additional monetary support that is given to students goes a long way and we look forward to continuing to engage in constructive dialogue with this government. However, we also want to acknowledge that, while each individual student’s experience is unique, our collective learning environment is undergoing an unprecedented overhaul in the way students will receive their education going forward. This has been made even more difficult by the fact that students fully realize that even prior to the pandemic, this government was effectively hollowing out Manitoba’s post-secondary landscape with its successive cuts year after year.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jelynn Dela Cruz, UMSU President – firstname.lastname@example.org