Frequently asked questions
Ryerson funding & special projects
Approximately 53 per cent of our operating budget comes from tuition fees, 41 per cent from grants, and six per cent from other income generating activities.
Approximately three-quarters of our expenditures are for academic operations, with remaining funds supporting activities such as building maintenance, campus computing and technological services, research services, and administrative functions.
In 2018-19, salaries and benefits comprised 76 per cent of our operating expenditures. With over 5,000 employees, the majority of these costs are determined by negotiated labour agreements with our three main unions: the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
The estimated impact to Ryerson’s operating budget is estimated to be about $29 million.
The university receives funding for capital projects from sources such as special, one-time government infrastructure allocations or from donations, and the funds are earmarked for specific building projects. Funds for capital projects are one-time only, and are not part of the university’s base budget, which funds ongoing expenditures. Capital projects are therefore not impacted by base budget reductions, and deferring capital projects will not result in base savings to the university.
Ryerson will continue to work with the Council of Ontario Universities and collaboratively with other Ontario institutions to ensure that the Government understands the negative impact of funding reductions on students and institutions.
Although this is a time of budget reductions, Ryerson has to continue taking risks; we cannot achieve our goals if we choose to stand still.
The Ryerson Law school will be run on a cost-recovery basis. While there will be a small initial investment from the university, the law school will be financially self-sustaining.
We also believe that there is a genuine need for a new generation of lawyers with the technology, financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to practice more efficiently, and to provide access to legal services in a more innovative and cost effective way.
While it is true that we face challenges in opening a law school at this juncture, there is no reason these challenges cannot be overcome. Challenges bring opportunities, and Ryerson must proceed with plans that strengthen our long-term vision and reputation.
Our domestic and international enrolments are currently on target, and student demand for Ryerson programs remains very strong.
Donations are typically made for specific initiatives or projects, rather than being available for general operating purposes. More importantly, funds received support short-term initiatives.
With permanent staff positions and long-term commitments (e.g., maintenance of buildings, utilities), the university cannot rely on short-term donations.
The university received significant funding from the City of Toronto specifically for the campus core revitalization project. This funding, and the associated planning, came well in advance of the government’s decision to reduce funding for universities.
Yes, the university is making transition funding available. Units that requested transition funding will be notified once details from the voluntary retirement incentive program are known.
No. Unfortunately, given the provincial government's budget parametres for 2019-20, Ryerson will not have the funds this year for strategic reinvestments.
Our enrolment plan calls for a very small increase in undergraduate and graduate enrolments this year. We will continue to centrally fund all growth in faculties up to negotiated enrolment levels.
Students, faculty & staff
We understand the financial burden faced by many students, which is why Ryerson has increased student financial assistance by 45 per cent over the past six years. In 2017-18, Ryerson provided $37.3 million in student financial support (scholarships and bursaries), and a further $3.4 million in work-study funding. For 2018-19 (as of January 31, 2019), student support expenditures total $37.3 million and $3 million in work-study support.
In January 2019, the Government announced that they would be introducing a framework for ancillary fees, establishing which fees will be mandatory and optional. While the Government has indicated that services related to health and safety, athletics and career services will remain mandatory, the final guidelines are still in development.
International tuition has been reviewed on a program-by-program basis and, in some instances, has been increased to be more in line with our peer institutions.
Despite the provincial government reducing our operating budget, Ryerson has remained focused on our core values – especially protecting the student experience – throughout the budget-planning and consultation process.
To that end, the university was able to protect the number of full-time faculty, increase the number of teaching assistantships, support student services, invest in the library, and improve the quality of our classroom spaces.
There are a number of key dates that will have an impact on potential changes.
In an effort to minimize staff exits, the university is putting a priority on closing vacant positions, and offering a retirement incentive program for staff that does not close until May 31, 2019. We will not know the impact on staff until after May 31.
We will know the work available for Unit 1 CLs by the May 31 posting date, and will know the impact on this group once the recruitment and selection process is completed.
The university will follow collective agreement provisions and will work with union executives to communicate any anticipated changes regarding the budget impacts on members of their bargaining unit.