The 2016/17 budget provides additional resources for Okanagan College.

The 2016/17 budget provides additional resources for Okanagan College.

Okanagan College gives green light to budget

Officials say the budget will create additional capacity for international and domestic students

Okanagan College has adopted its first $100 million budget.

Officials say the budget will create additional capacity for international and domestic students and provides additional financial aid support for students at each of its four campuses.

“There is an important message in this budget,” said president Jim Hamilton.

“Through collaboration between departments, through dedication, through looking at opportunities Okanagan College has found ways to continue to grow access and support our goal of diversifying the institution.”

The budget also contains an allocation for an additional 3.7 full-time equivalent staff members in the financial aid department and in the finance department to assist adult basic education and English as a second language students as they apply for bursaries and grants to offset tuition fees announced earlier this year. Financial aid will now have a physical presence on all four campuses.

“We started the budget process several months ago with a gap of about $2 million we needed to wrestle with, and we have found a way to address that and continue to build Okanagan College,” said Roy Daykin, vice-president of finance and administration.

“Our enrolments and tuition revenue were larger than budgeted in 2015-16, and we were able to incorporate those on an ongoing basis as well as find ways to build capacity for international and domestic students. Our international department has exceeded its target for 2015-16 and saw ways to continue that momentum working with the program areas in the coming year.”

Additional capacity for both domestic and international students will be added in network and telecommunications engineering technology, electronic engineering technology, computer information systems, and business administration, requiring five additional instructor positions.

International recruitment and advising will also grow by 1.7 full-time equivalent positions to expand recruitment efforts and to increase advising services to students. A new digital content and social media specialist is being added to public affairs.