News / Calgary

University of Calgary president says student enrolment won't be impacted by budget

Calgary's biggest university is still aiming to educate approximately 32,000 students this fall, despite what the institution's president referred to as "deep" cuts to provincial funding.

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon indicated Tuesday, however, that smaller-enrolment programs at the University of Calgary were being analyzed for efficiencies along with timelines for ambitious research goals.

Chief among those initiatives is the Eyes High strategy that intends to turn the U of C into one of Canada's top-five research universities by 2016.

"It's not just making rash decisions," Cannon cautioned. "We have to be very careful, because if there are things that are unique, that are serving a very important role in our internal university community and externally, we don't want to give those up."

Overall, the university will receive $38 million less from the province than it did for the current school-year.

Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk also indicated Monday that he would be sending out draft mandate letters to all institutions no later than Tuesday that would begin to outline each one's role in the provincial post-secondary landscape.

Those letters could then be revised during consultations with education leaders and the ministry before final copies are drawn up next month.

U of C senior officials, faculty and staff with gather for the first of two budget-related town hall meetings at the university Thursday.

Faculty association President Paul Rogers said he anticipates hearing more detail on potential impacts to his members at that time.

The province had originally pledged to a two per cent increase in funding in last year's budget; however, tough financial times, led to a reversal on that decision and a roughly seven per cent cut instead.

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