Post-Secondary Funding Formula Review

In March 2022, the B.C. government announced a sector-wide review of how it funds operations at British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions to ensure they have the resources they need to support economic recovery and student success.

The current funding model has not been updated in more than 20 years and has created constraints and inequities for some public post-secondary institutions.

The review will help government develop an updated, modern funding model for British Columbia’s public post-secondary system. It will aim to:

  1. Establish a funding model that fairly and impartially distributes provincial financial resources across the public post-secondary sector.
  2. Align provincial funding with the education and skills training needs of British Columbians and the communities served by the 25 public post secondary institutions.
  3. Support student success by ensuring access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education and expanding key student supports.

The review will focus only on block funding provided to public post-secondary institutions for general operations, which represents approximately 75% of government operating grants. Currently, block funding is based on the previous year’s grants and is not linked to specific programs or student seats. Targeted funding, which represents approximately 25% of institutions’ operating grants for high-demand occupations such as health and technology, is not within the scope of this review.

The first phase of the review will begin with targeted engagement with key sector partners, student, labour and sector associations, and public post-secondary institutions. A process for engaging with Indigenous Peoples will be co-developed with Indigenous partners.

The engagement will be led by Don Wright, who will provide a final report of key findings to government for consideration by summer 2023. Engagement findings will be made public.

The second phase, led by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training with support from Wright and Dan Perrin, will consider the objects and principles of the review to develop policy options and inform the design of an updated, modern funding model.

The review will aim to accomplish three main objectives and will be guided by eight key principles:


  1. Establish a funding model that fairly and impartially distributes provincial financial resources across the public post-secondary sector.
  2. Align provincial funding with the post-secondary education and skills training needs of British Columbians and the communities the 25 post-secondary institutions serve.
  3. Support students to succeed by ensuring access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education and expanding key student supports.

The review will be guided by eight core principles:

  1. Align with British Columbians’ priorities: Ensure that the post-secondary system serves the needs of all learners while aligning with the values and priorities of British Columbians.
  2. Lasting and meaningful reconciliation: Ensure action on reconciliation and implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and success of Indigenous learners.   
  3. Transparent: Establish transparency in how public post-secondary institution block grants are determined.
  4. Adaptable: Establish an adaptable formula while maintaining financial stability for public post-secondary institutions.
  5. Stable and predictable: Provide stable and predictable funding for long-term planning.
  6. Improve performance output: Solve regional access and funding distribution issues and help improve student success at all post-secondary institutions.
  7. Recognize research and non-government revenue: Encourage innovative research and recognize non-government revenue opportunities that exist for institutions.
  8. Incentivize collaboration: Incentivize public post-secondary institutions collaboration for seamless student pathways and success.​

Don Wright’s career has spanned the academic, government and private sectors. He holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, a master of economics from the University of British Columbia, and a doctor of philosophy in economics from Harvard University. Wright was the president of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He also served as the deputy minister to the premier, cabinet secretary and head of the public service until 2020. Previously, he was secretary to the treasury board and deputy minister in the governments of Saskatchewan and British Columbia in the ministries of forests, trade and investments, and education.

Daniel (Dan) Perrin is a public policy professional, active in providing public policy advice in British Columbia since 1981. His company, Perrin, Thorau and Associates Ltd., has undertaken hundreds of assignments for all manner of provincial public-sector entities, ranging from ministries to Crown corporations and authorities, to local governments and First Nations. He has participated in several independent, expert reviews in areas that include the B.C. budget process, real estate regulatory reform, money laundering in real estate, tax competitiveness, replacing MSP premium revenue, reforming disability assistance and the Expert Panel on Basic Income. In the post-secondary education sector, he has undertaken several projects related to post-secondary funding, including a previous review of funding for the sector, as well as funding of trades training and funding of undergraduate and post-graduate medical education.

A process for engagement with Indigenous Peoples will be co-developed with Indigenous partners:

  • First Nations Leadership Council
    • BC Assembly of First Nations
    • First Nations Summit
    • Union of BC Indian Chiefs
  • First Nations Education Steering Committee
  • Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association
  • Métis Nation BC

The following is a preliminary list of key stakeholders and partners that will be contacted as part of the engagement process:

Student associations

Sector Student Associations

  • Alliance of BC Students
  • BC Federation of Students

Individual student associations

  • Undergraduate and graduate student associations for public post-secondary institutions

Faculty associations

Sector faculty associations

  • Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC
  • Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

Individual faculty associations

Labour associations

  • B.C. General Employees’ Union
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • MoveUp

Sector associations

  • BC Association of Institutes and Universities
  • BC Colleges Association
  • Research Universities Council of BC

Public post-secondary institutions


  • Camosun College
  • Coast Mountain College
  • College of New Caledonia
  • College of the Rockies
  • Douglas College
  • Langara College
  • North Island College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Okanagan College
  • Selkirk College
  • Vancouver Community College


  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology


  • Capilano University
  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Royal Roads University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • Vancouver Island University

Industry and employer organizations

  • Business and economic organizations
  • Post-Secondary Employers' Association
  • University Public Sector Employers Association

Other key stakeholders (non-exhaustive)

  • Educational delivery partners
  • Equity-seeking groups
  • Government entities
  • Select municipalities
  • Trade associations

Organizations not currently listed can be considered by contacting

Don Wright, Engagement Lead for the Public Post Secondary Funding Formula Review, sent key stakeholders and partners the following invitations to provide written submission:

Organizations that did not receive a letter can provide written submissions by July 15, 2022 to