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OC’s $92.9 million budget approved

Okanagan College’s board of governors has approved a $92.9-million operating budget for 2011-12.

The board passed the budget at a meeting Tuesday.

The budget anticipates that student numbers will increase by approximately five per cent in the coming year.

“This was a challenging year,” said chairman Lance Kayfish.

“We are facing inflationary pressures of approximately $1 million this year. The anticipated enrolment growth, along with careful reallocation of resources, will allow us to offer modest expansion in some areas. Targeted government funding will also allow us to introduce the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program this year as well.”

The nursing program was announced Thursday by the province.

It is a partnership arrangement with UBC, that will allow students to complete the first two years of their four-year degree program at Okanagan College and then finish at UBC Okanagan.)

One program area that will likely see some reductions the coming year is trades training, as the college responds to a five per cent reduction of the Industry Training Authority’s funding to institutions.

The effects of that will be mitigated as the college reductions come in programs that have had low application and enrolment rates in recent years.

Those include the Apprentice Commercial Transport Vehicle Mechanic and the Metal Fabricator programs.

The number of intakes in other programs—apprentice automotive service technician, apprentice carpenter, and apprentice electrician—will be reduced, largely in response to reduced demand for those particular areas of trades training.

“With these reductions, we’re still anticipating that Okanagan College will be able to meet student demand for trades training,” explained Kayfish.

A number of non-ITA funded trades programs will be offered in the coming year, and there are funding applications for two new programs still being considered by the ITA.

The college will also provide additional capacity to accommodate more students in human kinetics programming, arts, and business administration.

Okanagan College has surpassed its growth targets over the past six years, and now enrolls approximately 8,000 full-time equivalent students annually.

More than 20,700 people attended the college in the 2009-2010 school year.

 

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