UBC sets out spending priorities in 2023/24 budget


UBC’s Board of Governors has approved the 2023/2024 budget, setting out the university’s spending priorities for the year ahead.

UBC’s operating budget—the funding that covers the university’s day-to-day activities—is projecting a balanced position in 2023/24. The consolidated budget, which includes funding set aside for specific purposes (such as capital and research) not available for general operational activities, is projecting a surplus of $85 million. Leading credit rating agencies continue to consider UBC as having a “very strong financial profile” and rate UBC’s financial obligations as high quality and very low credit risk.

Planning for the 2023/24 budget began at a time when global economic deceleration and rising inflation were intensifying financial challenges for the UBC community. This year, and into future years, the combination of rising salary costs, unprecedented global inflation impacting non-labour costs, and slower future growth of domestic and international student enrolment will require conservative financial strategies and proactive approaches.

UBC’s financial position is overseen by the Board of Governors, the Audit and the Finance Committees of the Board and is managed by the Executives. The university’s budget process was extended by two weeks to allow additional time to address the current economic circumstances and challenges. The approved balanced budget reflects strong financial stewardship.

Strategic investments

UBC will continue to strategically invest in key areas, including the advancement of the academic mission by building capacity in research and teaching; expansion of support for students to enable their success in and out of classrooms; supporting the implementation of the Climate Action Plan and the Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations; advancing the commitments of the Indigenous Strategic Plan; and furthering Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence initiatives.


“UBC students, scholars, and staff make important contributions to the social and economic conditions in British Columbia, Canada, and the world,” says Gage Averill, Provost and Vice-President Academic, UBC Vancouver. “Our priority remains supporting their success and pursuing excellence in learning, teaching and research.”


UBC’s 2023/24 spending priorities include supporting students both inside and outside the classroom. UBC Vancouver is investing in initiatives aimed at lowering financial barriers for existing and incoming students identified in the Student Affordability Task Force recommendations, as well as food security-related aid and critical student mental health and wellbeing supports. UBC Okanagan investments include support for the minimum funding guarantee for PhD students, Indigenous Graduate Student Entrance Fellowships, and the Work Study program.

UBC is also continuing to advance the implementation of the Indigenous Strategic Plan with additional supports in the šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium for Indigenous students at UBC Vancouver and increased funding for the development of the Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency and the Bachelor of Nɬeʔkepmxcín Language Fluency at UBC Okanagan. The 2023/24 budget also earmarks support for various institutional equity, diversity, and inclusion-related plans and recommendations through the Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework and Roadmap for Change and funding for IBPOC hiring, the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program and other student awards.

“UBC is working to build a community in which equity and inclusion are embedded in all areas of academic, work, and campus life,” adds Lesley Cormack, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan. “The 2023/24 budget moves us forward on these priorities.”

UBC continues to chart an ambitious vision to be the most research-intensive university in Canada, with $708 million in total research funding projected in 2023/24. In the upcoming year, through its Excellence Funds, the university plans to enhance and amplify current research excellence efforts in key areas. This includes investing in the UBC Okanagan Research and Innovation Patent Fund, which will help address the growth in patent and legal costs associated with technology transfer activities, and support for the Clusters of Research Excellence program, a major initiative that fosters interdisciplinary networks of researchers addressing societal and cultural problems. In addition, recurring funding has been earmarked to continue the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative, an ambitious and comprehensive approach that will elevate UBC’s overall research impact.

UBC’s budget also takes meaningful action towards the university’s pledge to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to continue to play a leadership role in addressing the climate emergency. Investments include new funding to address the strategic priorities associated with Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations, along with ongoing investments in sustainable buildings and infrastructure, and research that responds to the climate crisis.

Frank Laezza, Vice-President, Finance and Operations, concludes: “the UBC community has worked together with disciplined expense control and strategic deployment of resources to allow us to invest in our academic priorities, as guided by the strategic plan. Thank you to all our faculty and staff who supported the budget planning process, further advancing UBC’s vision of inspiring people, ideas, and actions for a better world.”

To learn more, read UBC’s 2023/24 Budget Report.

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