After reviewing this information, we hope you will gain a deeper understanding of where money comes from
(revenues), where it is spent (expenses), and how much these inputs and outputs may change from year to year.
Like many post-secondary institutions, Northwestern Polytechnic develops a 3-year rolling budget that is revised
annually. In this type of continuous budget, Year One provides a detailed prediction of revenue and expenses,
while Years Two and Three are high-level estimates.
As we consider our goals and the future, NWP’s main focus is to support the delivery of NWP’s
Strategic Plan and seamless operations across all our campuses.
NWP’s Consolidated Budget includes the full amount of restricted and unrestricted money we receive.
Put simply, restricted funds include things like research or capital dollars. These items are reserved for a
specific purpose and aren’t as flexible as other inputs. The unrestricted funds, or Operating Budget, is
where we tend to spend the most time. This is because many important components need to be carefully considered.
Provincial Investment Management Agreements (IMA)
The Base Operating Grant for Northwestern Polytechnic is $37,117,089. When the province implemented IMAs, a
portion of the Base Operating Grant became tied to “performance.” These funds are adjusted in
subsequent years if the IMA is not met. In 2021-22 there was a single metric, Work Integrated Learning (WIL).
80% of our programs needed to provide the opportunity for students to pursue WIL. In December 2022, Advanced
Education indicated 100% of our programs have a WIL opportunity. If we did not achieve our 2021-22 WIL, our
2023-24 Base Operating Grant could be impacted by as much as 15%. Each year the IMAs are negotiated, and the
potential impact on the Base Operating Grant is also increased. We believe we have set realistic IMA targets for
the next 3 years.
- 2022-23 Base Operating Grant could be impacted by up to 15%.
- 2023-24 Base Operating Grant could be impacted by up to 25%.
- 2024-25 Base Operating Grant could be impacted by up to 40%.
How do we Estimate Budget Changes Each Year?
Each year, the revenues and expenses that make up our budget change. A revenue or expense might change for many
different reasons, which we call considerations or pressures.
We begin by considering big-picture factors, such as:
- Provincial and federal finances and funding.
- Trends in the post-secondary sector.
- The polytechnic’s long-term financial health.
- Legislative and other changes (such as carbon tax and collective agreement steps and increases).
Considerations & Pressures 2023-24
- Government revenue is not expected to change for three years.
- Subject to approval, tuition will be aligned to cost of living.
- Investments are high quality, and by year 3, we will have a net spend rate of 4%.
- Student enrollment is static for the next three years.
- Targeted Enrollment Expansion Grant and micro-credential programs remain cost-neutral.
- New programs will require additional funding.
- Investment Management Agreement (IMA) targets will be met.
- Facility leases will reflect actual operating costs.
- A new custodial contract will lower costs by $115,000 annually. Annually we spend 1 million on custodial
- Utilities will cost an additional $375,000 in 2023-24, and carbon tax will increase every year by $50,000 a
year. Annually we spend ~2 million on utilities.
- Step and wage increases are estimated to cost 1.7 million; in 24-25, step and wage increases will cost an
- Residence's annual loss is estimated to be $235,000, 50% less than 2022-23.
- Food Services' annual loss is estimated to be $100,000, 50% less than 2022-23.
- Two new degree programs, Business and Computer Science, offered in 2023-24. There is a potential that we could
receive CAQC approval to grant additional degrees in the coming years.
- Expansion of Nursing, Practical Nurse, and Health Care Aid programs.
- Engineering degree (university transfer).
- Many new micro-credentials certificates.
- Innovation funding for future programming through program development.
- Web design and overhaul and other initiatives aligned to the Strategic Plan.
Increasing domestic and international student enrollment is still the greatest opportunity to grow the
institution and positively impact the budget. We continue to examine other ways to increase revenue, including
land leases and capitalizing on the change to the investment policy.
Ongoing Ways to Manage Costs
We will continue to reduce costs by using capital maintenance and renewal funding to
modernize newer educational spaces. Over three years, this will include replacing boilers, installing additional
LED lighting, upgrading electrical switching, replacing windows, and installing heat recovery in our shops. We
also look forward to the recommendations that will come forward in the Campus Master Plan as we look to use our
existing space more efficiently and modernize existing facilities. If you have an idea, please contact your
Dean or Director.
Over time, up to 1/3 of our revenue should come from tuition if we achieve our
aspirational goals in our strategic plan.
How do we Make Plans for the Next Three Years?
We can’t know for certain how our budget will change ahead of time. But by looking at pressures on our
revenues and expenses, we can make educated predictions about what will likely happen. We call these
We then put all our assumptions together to create a set of planning parameters - a big-picture look at how
much money we will likely have in the years ahead. Our parameters also allow us to set budget targets for the
future increases or reductions in spending, to get us where we want to be.
The Final Step: Approval
After all these steps are completed, the President, Vice Presidents, Deans and Directors prepare a budget
for their respective departments. The polytechnic prepares a consolidated budget for our annual report to the
Government, subject to Board approval. The final consolidated budget is approved by the Board of Governors in
February and forwarded to the province.