AMS Welcomes BC Select Standing Committee Recommendations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The UBC Alma Mater Society welcomes the recommendations made by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to the BC Legislature in preparation for the 2022 BC Budget.

[VANCOUVER, BC – NOVEMBER 15, 2021] – The Committee’s report on the 2022 BC Budget Consultation included key investments for post-secondary students, with recommendations to provide additional supports for Indigenous learners, increased supports to address sexualized and gender-based violence on campus, and a more robust mental health network at post-secondary institutions.

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services conducts annual consultations in preparation for the provincial budget. The Committee then submits a report to the BC Legislature with recommendations for the upcoming budget. This year, the AMS, in collaboration with the Alliance of BC Students and the University of Victoria’s Student Society, presented to the Committee and highlighted the need for investments and resources in three key areas:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Sexual Violence Prevention
  3. Indigenous Student Support

The AMS and our partners are pleased to see that the Committee took up all three recommendations in their report to the BC Legislature. The AMS looks forward to the release of the BC Budget in January 2022 as we continue to work towards affordable, accessible, and equitable post-secondary education.

“We are extremely excited about today’s announcement from the Select Standing Committee. These recommendations are an important step in supporting students as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The supports and resources for addressing student mental health and ending sexualized violence on campus are long overdue, and the additional supports for Indigenous students (including Elder programs and Indigenous counsellors and advisors) are much needed, especially with the provincial government’s commitment to UNDRIP. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the government and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that post-secondary students are supported in all areas of their lives.” – Saad Shoaib, AMS Vice-President, External Affairs

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Eric Lowe
Marketing and Communications Manager
media@ams.ubc.ca


The full list of budget recommendations for Advanced Education are:

Adult Education and Literacy: Increase funding for adult education and literacy, including increasing the number of funded courses to reflect a broad range of educational needs and interests and to improve employment opportunities for individuals.

Capital Funding: Allocate resources to support post-secondary institutions to build infrastructure to provide full services on campus such as recreation and wellness centres, and address the urgent need for student housing, particularly at smaller colleges.

Indigenous Students: Provide additional supports for Indigenous learners, including Elder programs and similar initiatives that provide connection to culture and community, Indigenous counsellors and advisors, and mechanisms to ensure improved access and affordability.

International Students: Recognize the value and contributions of international students and diversity by continuing to promote BC as a welcoming jurisdiction for international students including examining the business model, providing wrap-around supports, and ensuring safety and fair treatment as well as transparency and predictability regarding tuition fees.

Operational Funding: Recognize the value and importance of post-secondary education by examining the funding model to ensure investments position BC to meet the needs of the future workforce, address operational pressures and programming demands, and include consideration for short-term financial flexibility with clearly defined accountabilities and transparency to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research and Innovation: Provide consistent and ongoing funding for graduate and undergraduate student research across the province to support communities and spur economic and social recovery.

Student Supports: Increase supports to address sexualized and gender-based violence on campus and to ensure a more extensive and robust mental health network at post-secondary institutions across the province.

Technology, Trades, and Skills Training: Increase investments and opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, co-ops, and micro-credential programs as well as apprenticeships and trades training.

Tuition and Financial Assistance: Reduce financial barriers to post-secondary education, including by temporarily expanding grant funding, to ensure students have increased levels of support for the years following the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage participation in and completion of post-secondary education. Improve transparency regarding course fees, ancillary fees, and other expenses related to the direct and indirect costs of education.