After careful consideration of the benefits and impact on students, the UFV Board of Governors has approved a new experiential learning and wellness student fee. The fee is $2.80 per credit. For a student taking an average course load at UFV, this represents an increase of $25 to $30 per term. It will cost a student taking a full course load about $42 per term.
At the core of this decision is our desire to support students. It is our understanding and expectation that the funding from this fee will directly benefit students through the creation of new services and programs. Some of the funds will be directed specifically to programs to increase experiential learning opportunities and validate them. We hear regularly from employers how advantageous this is in the competition for post-graduate employment. The remainder of the funds will support mental and physical health initiatives, and peer support programs, shown in many places to promote personal well-being and academic success. It should also be noted that some of this funding will be returned to students through new paid employment opportunities on campus.
The board noted the consultation that took place between UFV administration and the leadership of the Student Union Society. Although we do not expect our students to support fee increases, we did appreciate their acknowledgement of the benefits the funding will bring.
The Board will follow closely the use of this funding and has directed UFV administration to provide a report to the Board at the end of the first year. That report will be made available to the UFV community.
Although the amount may seem small in comparison to the total cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for students, we recognize that even modest increases are challenging for some of our students. The Board remains strongly committed to the accessibility that has been a cornerstone of UFV since its beginnings over 40 years ago. The University currently provides over $1.5 million in scholarships and bursaries and emergency funding support for students annually. About half of this comes from the University’s operating budget and the remainder from generous donors. We are very grateful for this financial support for our students, but we know the need is greater. So I have asked the President to develop a plan over the next few months to increase the amount of funding raised for student support.
UFV Board Chair