Queen's University hires Nous Group to address financial concerns
Queen's University is among the many Ontario post-secondary institutions facing exacerbated financial deficits
These financial struggles are part of a larger issue many universities in Ontario are currently facing. In a report by a blue-ribbon panel, created by the Ontario provincial government to ensure long-term financial sustainability in post-secondary education in the province it was found that in Ontario universities currently receive the least amount of money per entering student in comparison to other provinces.
Furthermore, the Council of Ontario Universities noted that 10 universities are currently predicted to have a total of $175 million in operating deficit.
Many universities are blaming their financial strife on the tuition fee reduction in 2019 and the subsequent tuition freeze policy. These were implemented in 2019 after provincial government had removed the system that provided tuition rides for low-income students through the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
Queen's University currently reports its financial deficit at $48 million, which had originally been marked at $62.8 million. On Queen's University's website, they credit this improvement to enacting a hiring freeze and adjustments of budgets.
To improve their finances, Queen's is now working with international consultancy firm Nous Group and has introduced their operations as the Queen’s Renew Project. The timeline for their project has not been released. However, they have emphasized that the goal is to address the financial concerns through internal review and suggest redirection.
A group called Queen’s Coalition Against Austerity has formed in opposition to the controversial Queen's hiring freeze.
This state of financial crisis is not unique to Queen's and is being experienced by the majority of Ontario post-secondary institutions. McMaster University has also begun to take steps to address their financial issues.
The institution has announced that their finances are being managed internally and have released written financial goals through the published blue-ribbon panel report.
With the recent updates to their financial management, Queen's University principal Patrick Deane stated in a published message, "I am hopeful that as we have done in the past, we will face obstacles together and emerge stronger for our efforts."
This is an ongoing story.