by Nelson Daily staff on 26 Apr 2012
Michelle Mungall . . .how can cuts not impact students
The decision to cut second year science courses at Selkirk had caught the attention of the official opposition party in the B.C. legislature.
Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall and Opposition Leader Adrian Dix raised the issue with the Minister for Advanced Education this week about the ministry’s funding cuts impact on Selkirk College students.
“After seeing program cuts, after student housing rents going up in the north and growing student debt loads, does the Minister of Advanced Education still think that her funding cuts won’t impact students,” asked Mungall during Monday’s Question Period.
Selkirk College recently announced that it will be cutting second year science courses, the engineering transfer program, philosophy courses, as well as cutting the entire second year of courses from Kootenay School of the Arts while increasing tuition by two percent.
Experts say 80 percent of jobs within the next decade will require some level of post-secondary education.
But the Liberals are cutting funding at a time when economic experts are saying that it is necessary to increase funding so that BC can address the looming skills shortage.
“The consequences in the skills shortage for students and for the economy are severe,” said Dix.
"Every time I meet with business leaders, they say there’s a skills shortage in British Columbia. We need access. We need more people with the skills they need for the jobs of the future."
Selkirk College president, Angus Graeme was one of 25 college and university presidents who penned a letter to the Minister of Advanced Education expressing their concern about the Ministry’s funding cuts to institutions, calling it "unrealistic" to expect that they won’t impact students.
Adrian Dix, Michelle Mungall and the entire NDP team continue to hold the Liberals accountable for their failure to adequately invest in post-secondary education while also proposing positive solutions to support students’ successful contribution to BC’s economy.