2024–25 Budget Book released

April 15, 2024

Financial challenges facing the post-secondary sector over the past several years have created a moment for change at SFU and other leading universities. Over the past months, the Board of Governors has been deeply engaged in reviewing the budget with the executive team and the 2024–25 Budget Book is a reflection of this work. It was approved unanimously by the Board, and we are proud to deliver a balanced budget for the 2024–25 fiscal year.

Changes in our approach  

SFU has responded to financial challenges by establishing a new budget model with stronger ties to the Provost and academic priorities of the university. These changes bring enhanced financial scrutiny, investment in systems, ongoing savings and efficiency, and stronger reporting and oversight. Difficult decisions taken in 2023–24 will ensure budget stability in future years, particularly while we continue to navigate lower international enrolments, high inflationary environments and overall financial market volatility. Budget discussions have included multi-year forecasts, which ensures we have a view of long-term financial sustainability.

Key facts  

It is very important for our community to understand SFU’s current financial situation and future plans.  Here is a brief summary of key points from the budget book and information you need to know:  

  • SFU, like other leading universities, is facing financial pressure as a result of declining international student enrolment, a high inflationary environment and rising interest rates. We are operating within a very fluid environment and making decisions with real-time information to ensure that our actions are aligned with the latest numbers. 
  • To address this year’s deficit and ensure a balanced budget going forward, the university has implemented several cost-saving measures, including budget reductions within each portfolio area and faculty, an administrative hiring freeze and restructuring areas of the university’s operations to increase efficiency and reduce duplication. Increases in 2024–25 planned enrolments as well as tuition increases will further contribute to a balanced budget. 
  • The budget seeks to protect important values-based priorities across our community, including: i) maintaining financial support to students, including the provision of $4.3M in additional funds for graduate students, as approved in 2023; ii) preserving funding for teaching and research and; iii) advancing our commitment to equity by becoming a Living Wage Employer.
  • While the landscape is challenging, it is important to note that SFU maintains a strong financial position with a stable outlook, reflected in its Aa1 credit rating. The priorities reflected in this budget were chosen to ensure that SFU maintains a strong financial foundation in the years to come. 

Moving forward  

I would like to thank and acknowledge the efforts of all those who contributed to the budget and budget book. I also want to acknowledge that this process has been—and will continue to be—challenging for the university community. SFU has always been led by our values, and we will continue to make decisions from that place. We are working hard to ensure affordability for students, minimize impacts on teaching, learning and research, and minimize impacts on people as we move forward.   

I am proud of how the community has come together during this difficult time. I encourage you to read the full budget book and visit the Finance website for more information about financial planning at SFU.  

Angie Lamarsh  
Chair, Board of Governors  
Simon Fraser University