Music students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University held an outdoor concert in Langley City to protest budget-tightening that eliminated new admissions. A study by a KPU math and science instructor has found KPU gets about half what other regional colleges and universities get. (Advance Times file photo)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University gets half the funding of its counterparts, study says

Decision to freeze admissions to Langley music school a result of shortfall, author maintains

More than 30 years after Geoff Dean released a study that showed Kwantlen College was getting far less funding than other regional colleges, the math and science instructor has carried out a follow-up study on Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

It found the situation has not improved and in fact may be even worse, Dean disclosed.

“We were getting half what everyone else was getting, and that pattern hasn’t changed,” Dean told the Black Press Media.

His assessment is based on the amount per resident the provincial government gives KPU in the area it serves, compared to the per-resident funding for other regional colleges and universities.

Kwantlen has 20,000 students and 1,400 faculty members located at five locations in Langley, Surrey (at Newton Town Centre, Cloverdale, and City Centre) and Richmond.

Based on 2018 figures, the Dean study found that Kwantlen gets slightly more than $62 per resident from the province in the region it serves, while the other institutions get close to $149 per resident, on average.

That, according to Dean, means KPU is only funded to offer half the number of full-time-equivalent student seats relative to the rest of B.C.’s regional post-secondaries.

“Kwantlen gets the least,” Dean summed up.

“We’re being totally badly treated by the provincial government,” he added.

“It’s been that way no matter what the government is. None of these [political] parties have done anything.”

READ MORE: Music students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University battle cuts

Dean believes the recent controversy over KPU budget-tightening that froze new admissions at the KPU school of music in Langley, along with the outright elimination of other courses like the farrier program, are the direct result of the funding inequity described in his report.

“Our adult education is getting a quarter of what we ought to, trades, are getting a third,” Dean related.

According to his study, Kwantlen only gets a fifth the funding for English language training that the rest of BC gets.

It looks even worse if the larger universities are factored in, Dean told the provincial select standing committee on finance and government services.

During his June 21 presentation, in response to a question by MLA Rich Coleman, Dean said that if the big three B.C. universities that draw students province-wide, UBC , SFU and UVic, are included in the calculations, KPU looks even more underfunded, receiving roughly a third of the average funding given the big three and regional universities.

Dean carried out his first study in 1985 after a meeting with then-MLA Rita Johnson about funding issues at the college.

He submitted his findings to the provincial government, with no response.

Since then, KPU has become a university, offering longer programs that cost more to administer, which Dean argues has made a bad situation even worse.

Dean believes the current KPU administration knows there is a problem, but has to tread lightly when lobbying the provincial government to fix the imbalance.

“I kind of think they have [pushed for funding], but they have to do it behind closed doors,” Dean commented.

Dean sent his updated report to the current provincial government.

In response, he received a letter from Trudy Rotgans, the executive director of the Post-Secondary Programs Branch who stated the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has “launched a number of system-wide initiatives to support students who may face challenges accessing post-secondary education, initiatives that benefit students at KPU.”

Rotgansmentioned $24 million in funding that will provide tuition-free adult basic education, and english language learning.

In response to a request for comment, KPU released a statement by Dr. Alan Davis, KPU president and vice-chancellor, who stated the university is “grateful to the provincial government for the funding it receives,” and added KPU “would welcome opportunities to provide more seats south of the Fraser for students wanting to pursue high quality post-secondary education.”

Dean is not sure why Kwantlen gets so much less, but suggested it may be part of a general trend south of the Fraser, where residents get less funding per capita for transit, police and hospital beds as well.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Joint U.S.-Canada hazardous materials drill to take place by Sumas border crossing

10-hour drill starts at 7 a.m. Wednesday and has been planned for over a year

ELECTION HUB: Candidate profiles, voter information and news for Abbotsford’s ridings

We’ve collected our election coverage in one spot to help you decide who to vote for

Every year, Abbotsford woman uses birthday money to help sick kids

Mia Gill donates to pediatric unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

SLIDESHOW: More than 200 at candlelight vigil for those lost to gangs

Event on Sunday in Abbotsford hosted by Kids Play Foundation

Alice Cooper returning to Abbotsford

Hall of Fame artist performing at Abbotsford Centre on April 18, 2020

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read