March 8, 2007

UManitoba Engineers Vote To Increase Their Tuition

Engineers at the University of Manitoba voted over the last two days.  With a voter turnout that would make any other student association blush (CBC News at Six reported over 60% voter turnout), they voted to increase their tuition by an average of 38%.

I apologize to those that were expecting me to cover this right away and my many sources that emailed me overnight. I was sleeping when the results came in.

Here are some blogs that are talking about it:

The following is up on the www.saveengineering.ca site:

Unofficial Referendum Results

Pursuant to the UMES Constitution and the Standing Rules, these results will only be ratified after the 24 hour appeal period has expired.

  1. I support a tuition fee surcharge to raise the per credit hour fee for Engineering courses to a maximum of $144 per credit hour (maximum $40 per credit hour for courses offered by the CIVL, ECE, ENG, and MECH departments, maximum $17 per credit hour for courses offered by the BIOE department) to be utilized as described in the “Proposal to Increase Engineering Student Fees” to provide the Faculty of Engineering with the resources to maintain the quality of its undergraduate programs, with the following understandings: - That all funds collected from the surcharge will return to the Faculty of Engineering to address its budgetary shortfall.
  • That the surcharge will significantly contribute to reducing the budgetary stress on the Faculty but does not address all of the needs of the Faculty.
  • That the University will also approach the Province for funding, in an attempt to minimize the financial stresses placed on students through this surcharge.
  • That international students shall pay the same surcharge as Canadian students, and that this surcharge shall not be subject to any differential increase.
  • That should the provincial government’s tuition freeze policy be lifted, another referendum shall be held to revisit this issue and determine a course of action.

YES – 429 (~64%)
NO – 237
Spoiled – 4
2. My engineering education has been negatively impacted by the current level of funding provided to the Faculty of Engineering. YES – 431 (~64%)
NO – 233
Spoiled – 6

There was a total of 670 votes cast, which represents approx. 58% of the all undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. These results will only become official once they are posted on the Official Referendum web site.

What’s Next: The University of Manitoba Board of Governors must approve the surcharge, as well as the Minister of Advanced Education and Training, Diane McGifford. Once this is complete, the surcharge will take effect in September 2007. A rally at the Manitoba Legislature to lobby the government for the $3.5 million required to properly run the Faculty of Engineering is planned for late March, details to follow.

I find interesting that question 2 had very similar results as question one.  I would have expected question 2 to be a near unanimous yes vote.  It appears that people can into the voting booth with their minds made up and never read the actual ballot.