Friday, December 7, 2012

Speaking of austerity: Surprise for Quebec's Universities

Just in time for the holidays: the Quebec government has announced it will cut another $140 million from University budgets this year; schools will have to come up with the cuts by April--yes, in 4 months. That's on top of the rolled-back tuition increases, which represented about another $40 million. This is not a good surprise. It's especially harsh when the PQ is raising taxes all over the place and we all know into whose pockets some outlandish proportion of our taxes go. From the Montreal Gazette:

the PQ repeatedly promised to maintain funding to universities for this year despite cancelling the strongly opposed tuition hike that was to have gone into effect this fall. Universities have been waiting for compensation for about $40 million in lost revenues from the aborted increase.
The student protesters see this as an unintended consequence of their success:

Even the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), which has suggested that universities are more mismanaged than underfunded, was shocked with what president Martine Desjardins called a “hasty” decision. 
“We talked about a redistribution of money, but we never wanted to see university budgets cut,” said Desjardins. “We’re shocked. We fear it’s services to students that will be cut, that students will have to pay the price again.”
I doubt the students alone will pay the price, but the juxtaposition of widespread & rampant corruption, steadily increasing taxes, and steadily increasing cuts to education reads like a serious governance crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment