Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2017 (852 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The president and CEO of Assiniboine Community College has described a recent financial report from KPMG as being "university biased."
"I think in part that reflects that this report is done through the lens of an accountant, versus potentially the lens of a labour economist or somebody in higher education," Mark Frison said.
"The way that they look at the information, and admittedly don’t talk to the sector, I’m not sure gives the reader as clear a view of what might need to happen as if you had looked at it in a different way."
KPMG offered a number of recommendations to the government as part of a wide-ranging report on the province’s finances.
Among them are to freeze college and university grants, eliminate the Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate program and reallocate those funds into student aid, increase tuition and target funding to programs which provide value for money.
Frison agreed with the tax rebate recommendation, saying the money could be used to increase the amount of programming the college offers.
But he said KPMG did not focus enough on the capacity of schools to accommodate more students.
"Probably the area where we are most concerned, though, is there needs to be an expansion of programs."
Frison said the No. 1 reason he hears from small businesses about why they aren’t able to grow is because of the availability of skilled labour.
When it comes to funding, Frison said colleges receive money for a particular program, whereas universities receive a block which it reallocates to different programs.
The different funding models weren’t taken into account by KPMG, he said.
Frison is instead placing more value on the college sector review being done by Higher Education Strategy Associates, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
"But I think the biggest thing that’s going to be important to us to communicate to government, relative to the KPMG report, as a college sector is some of the university bias that may have been in the lens of how KPMG looked at the items."
Approximately 60 per cent of the college’s funding is from the province, or $30 million out of a total $50 million.
The college did not receive an increase to its operating grant this year, which Frison said will cause some difficult if it is frozen over a long period of time.
Brandon University declined to comment on the KPMG report.
A university spokesperson said the school had nothing to add to the conversation and would only be speculating until it knew how, or if, the recommendations were put in place.
» Twitter: @mtaylorlee