2013 budget cuts slash nearly $12 million from U of L
University of Lethbridge students, staff and supporters rallied together to stand up for post secondary institutions across the province.
The group says students will suffer after the government slashed funding to post secondary budgets, including over 11 million dollars from the University of Lethbridge.
Jacqueline Burt is a 4th year student at the U of L and she says the nearly 12 million dollars cut from the university is devastating.
“It’s just robbing us. She promised us plus 2 percent increase and so to take away 7 percent. I work for the Disabilities Resource Centre so that’s my student job gone. Not only is my education affected as far as the quality goes, but it’s my employment as well,” said Burt.
Educators are worried the province wide cost cutting will discourage students from seeking further education in Alberta.
“It’s going to drive students away from this province, it’s going to drive faculty away from this province. We will end up with a poorer system at the end of it,” said John Usher, President of the U of L Faculty Association.
That’s exactly what teachers like Maureen Hawkins are worried about; if cuts come now, the money will not return.
“I’m 67 years old, I could retire. I’m not retiring because I won’t be replaced and my students and my department need what I teach,” said Hawkins.
Specific areas where the money will be cut haven’t been announced yet, leaving the 500 employees represented by AUPE at the U of L with a lot of questions.
“The administrative, they don’t know what the heck they’re going to do because 12 million dollars is a huge amount of money but we do know that it’s not going to result in improvements at the university.
AUPE says these cuts not only hit students, staff and faculty, but Lethbridge as a whole.
“The quality of education this institute provides will be diminished and that in turn could affect enrolment here and that would have a negative spin off affect on the entire Lethbridge community, you have less students coming maybe. Everybody suffers,” said Scott.
And for students like Burt, these latest cuts to education are doing exactly that.
“I’m looking at going abroad for my masters now because I’m just so sick of how the Alberta government is treating their students.”