Student affordability and food insecurity
This message was sent to executive, deans and other senior academic leaders, academic heads, directors and managers, and senior professional leaders in Vancouver and the Okanagan.
7 November, 2022
In recent weeks, we have heard from students regarding their concerns related to affordability and food insecurity. The global recession and inflation, at a 40-year high, is causing financial challenges for many members of the UBC community and putting pressure on all areas of the university.
Recognizing the impact of the increased cost of living on students, UBC convened a Student Affordability Task Force in March 2021. Members included student leaders, faculty, and staff from both campuses. The group examined systemic issues and financial pressures that students and their families face.
In March of this year, the task force released a report with 10 recommendations, including:
- multi-year tuition planning
- long-term funding for food insecurity
- reducing costs of educational materials
- raising $100 million for needs-based aid
You can read the full report here.
Task force implementation
A Student Affordability Task Force Implementation Committee – made up of student leaders, faculty and staff from both campuses – has been assembled to implement the task force recommendations. A separate task force is also focusing on affordability issues more specific to graduate students and their needs.
In addition to implementing the task force recommendations, this year the university is investing $2.4 million in food security-related aid between the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, supporting, student financial aid, the UBC Meal Share Program and funding student-lead initiatives such as the AMS Food Bank, Acadia Park Food Hub, Sprouts and Agora.
A UBC Broadcast was sent to all students today on this important topic. You can read the message here.
Affordability, while managing inflationary pressures, is a critical priority for the university’s administration, and student leaders within the AMS, GSS, and UBCSUO. We will continue to work closely and collaborate with student leaders to understand this complex issue and build toward sustainable, long-term solutions.
Thank you to all faculty and staff who have taken part in this important work, we look forward to providing more updates in the future.
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