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UNBC tuition fees going up

Most undergraduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia will pay $96 more to attend the school after its board of governors approved a $68-million operating budget on Tuesday.
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Most undergraduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia will pay $96 more to attend the school after its board of governors approved a $68-million operating budget on Tuesday.

The budget, passed for the 2014-15 fiscal year, included a two-per-cent hike to tuition fees, meaning a typical full-time undergraduate will pay $4,912 per year.

The budget's total is about $400,000 less than the previous year, largely due to reduced government grants and static enrollment, according to a statement from UNBC.

In 2012-13, there were 4,152 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students enrolled at all UNBC campuses, down slightly from 4,226 in 2011-12, 4,266 in 2010-11 and 4,183 in 2009-10.

In addition to the fee hike, the board approved other actions to balance the budget:

- Keeping closer track of savings from short-term staff vacancies, so that money can be allocated to other projects.

- Eliminating the full-time equivalent of 10 faculty and staff positions, many of which are vacant.

The provincial government provides about two thirds of UNBC's operating budget while tuition fees generate slightly more than 27 per cent. Wages and benefits account for about three-quarters of the UNBC's expenditures.

UNBC's grant from the provincial government for 2013-14 was reduced by about $126,000 and for 2014-15, the reduction is estimated to be $473,000.

"Despite the fiscal challenges UNBC faces, we were able to work in partnership across the university to balance the budget," UNBC interim president Mark Dale said.

"We continue to see cost pressures that span our operations and we must find innovative ways to make maximum use of every dollar. Some of the initiatives contained within this budget do just that."