From the Boardroom//

From the Boardroom: Governors approve 2024/25 tuition increases

UBC’s Board of Governors met on Tuesday at UBC Vancouver to approve tuition increases and UBC’s Land Use Plan.

Here’s what you might have missed.

Board approves tuition increases

The Board voted to approve two to five per cent tuition increases for the 2024/25 academic year.

3,973 respondents completed this year’s student tuition consultation survey, a decrease of 895 from the 2023/24 consultation. According to the tuition consultation survey, 92 per cent of respondents disagreed with tuition increases, while 7 per cent agreed. One per cent were unsure.

President Benoit Antoine-Bacon expressed support for tuition increases.

“Every year in recognition of inflation and rising costs, governments allow institutions to raise tuition fees modestly,” said Bacon.

Provost Gage Averill said tuition increases are necessary since “they are the lifeblood of this institution.”

“We know that there are serious limits on their ability to pay [tuition], both domestic and international,” said Averill. “We are very conscious to limit increases to the minimum.”

Averill also said the university will still need to find $43 million in cost savings before the budget submission in March.

The board’s finance committee proposed a two per cent tuition increase for new and continuing domestic students, a three per cent increase for continuing international undergraduate students and a five per cent increase for new incoming international undergraduate students.

Several Board members expressed opposition to the increases, including student governors Eshana Bhangu, Kareem Hassib and Isabella Bravo.

“I really do understand the financial pressures on the university but I really can’t agree to the fact that we've just been doing enough for other revenue sources to support the mission of the university,” said Bhangu.

Bhangu, who was formerly AMS president, also said the university’s previous commitments to provide students with services and initiatives from tuition increases revenue have “not come to fruition” during her time at UBC.

“There are students who put in asks for new services. The student society makes submissions. There are a lot of things that students benefit from with that incremental revenue [from tuition increase],” said Bhangu. “We're increasing tuition and not actually putting any of that incremental revenue towards new initiatives that will go towards supporting students.”

Governor Alison Brewin also said she would vote against the motion.

Brewin said in the past, governors have accused her of being "irresponsible" for opposing tuition increases. “I actually think it's irresponsible of us to have food banks on the campus, so I feel as though we have to change the way we look at this whole framework,” she said.

Governor Leonard Schein also said he is against this motion since it creates barriers for students to be able to attend UBC.

“We really want to get the most qualified and talented people here, not the people who have the money to get here,” said Schein.

The motion passed with 12 in favour of the motion and 8 against.

Land Use Plan to be submitted to provincial government

The board also approved a motion to submit the UBC Vancouver Land Use Plan to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for final approval.

The Land Use Plan, last updated in 2011, is the regulatory document outlining UBC’s long-term intentions for the Point Grey campus; all land use decisions made by UBC must, by law, be consistent with the plan.

Board chair Nancy McKenzie said these motions “are the culmination of over two years of work by Campus and Community Planning.”

After lengthy discussion, the motion passed.