The Province of BC is launching a review of block funding provided to NVIT and other public post-secondary institutions.

The review is being conducted in order to update the current 20-year-old model that the province has been using.

“For many years, NVIT has struggled under the current funding model, even though we consistently are one of the top institutions in terms of meeting our student targets,” said Ken Tourand, President of NVIT’s Merritt campus.

“NVIT has received tremendous support from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training through their commitment to Indigenous Education and reconciliation. We are confident that the funding review will recognize the unique role that NVIT plays in supporting and educating Indigenous students throughout British Columbia.”

The sector-wide review of operations on funding covers 25 BC post-secondary institutions.

The update will answer for any constraints and inequities that the current model possesses.

The review aims to accomplish three goals:

1. Establish a funding model that fairly and impartially distributes provincial financial resources across the public post-secondary sector.

2. Align provincial funding with the education and skills training needs of British Columbians and the communities served by the 25 public post-secondary institutions.

3. Support student success by ensuring access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education and expanding key student supports.

Currently, block funding is based on the previous year’s grants and is not linked to specific programs or student seats.

Block funding represents approximately 75% of government operating grants. The remaining 25% is represented by targeted funding which covers high demand occupations such as health and technology. The second type of funding will not be covered by the review.

The review will consist of two phases. The first phase will be an engagement, led by Don Wright with key sector partners, student, labour and sector associations, and public post-secondary institutions.

Indigenous partners will co-develop a process of engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

Wright has a history with the academic, government and private sectors. Most notably, he was president of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He also served as deputy minister to the premier, cabinet secretary and head of the public service until 2020.

The second phase of the review will be the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s consideration of Wright’s findings from phase 1

With support from Wright and Dan Perrin, the Ministry will develop policy options and inform the design of an updated, modern funding model.

Don Wright will provide a final report of key findings to government for consideration by summer 2023. Engagement findings will be made public.