Denesiuk re-elected as college board chair

Two important decisions came out of the Okanagan College board of governors meeting Tuesday, starting with a rise in tuition.

The board voted to increase tuition for domestic students by two per cent in the coming year. International student tuition will increase by five per cent.

Under the provincial government policy regulating tuition, those are the maximum allowable fee increases. For international student tuition, OC remains 9th in fees to of 15 post-secondary institutions across B.C.

For a university transfer arts student taking a full load of lecture courses, the increase will amount to an additional $65.28 per year, rising to a total of about $3,342.54. For a student taking a six-month (24-week) electrical foundation program, tuition would increase by $51.73 to $2,638.29.

A year’s arts tuition for an international student increases more than $600 to $12,978 from $12,360.

College president Jim Hamilton said they are trying to find that “sweet spot” between maximizing potential revenue from international students with offering an education experience they feel is worth paying for.

The board also re-elected Connie Denesiuk as board chair and Chris Derickson as vice-chair in a unanimous vote.

Denesiuk, a Summerland resident, joined the college board in 2012 after serving a three-year term as president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, along with a 19-year stint as an Okanagan Skaha School District trustee, nine of which she served as the board chair. Derickson is a councillor with the Westbank First Nation, and works as a business consultant for First Nations communities. His tenure with the college board of Governors began in 2014.

“I’m proud to be here and proud of the team we have,” said Denesiuk, who is also pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership degree at Royal Roads University. “I have felt it’s really important to engage our entire board in the conversation, that each of our board members are heard from on issues we face in order to make the best decisions for the college.”

Denesiuk said the board is reluctant to add to cost for students to attend the college, that providing access to campus programs is an ongoing concern.

“We don’t want to see students turned away because they can’t afford it,” Denesiuk said, adding that while the college is mandated by law to submit a balanced budget to the provincial government each year, she said a post-secondary institution is about more than that.

“It’s important to note that it’s not just about looking for efficiencies and ways to bring forward a balanced budget, but also to seek out innovative new programs. We want to continue to provide exciting and relevant programming for our students to prepare them for the future.

“We want to add to the college, we just don’t want to remove.”

Denesiuk added that while post-secondary student associations continue to lobby the provincial government to increase core funding, OC speaks though the collective membership voice of the B.C. Association of Institutes and Universities advocating for fiscal funding issues.

“It’s an issue that we never lose sight of,” said Hamilton.

“There are unfortunately not many options for us to increase revenues to offset funding shortfalls and tuition increases are one of them. But we don’t take having to do that lightly.”

Just Posted

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Penticton judge tosses child custody time-to-trial complaint

Though the judge sympathized with the need to speed up matters, he kept the proceedings on track

Stolen truck, resisting cops in Naramata nets 19 months

Derek John Ledgard, 24, will spend nearly 16 more months in jail after time served

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Man facing additional drug charges

Targeted enforcement unit arrests man at community centre

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read