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Government increases budget to $42.4M for Nunavut Arctic College

Revised programs reinstated; challenges finding staff
Nunavut Arctic College shepherded dozens of graduates from its certificate, diploma and degree programs in 2023.

The Government of Nunavut has budgeted $42.4 million for Nunavut Arctic College in 2024-25, which is approximately $2.4 million more than last year.
It represents two per cent of the territorial government's entire budget.

The college realized a $2.7-million surplus in 2022-23 with $52.8 million in contributions from the GN, the Government of Canada and Inuit organizations making that possible. That was a better outcome than a $2.9 million deficit the previous year.

Beyond government aid, revenues came from $13.1 million in contract income, $1.8 million in tuition fees, $1.6 million from interest income, $1 million in room and board and $505,000 in miscellaneous revenue and recoveries.

The top expenses were $15.2 million for trades, community and distance learning programs; $12.5 million for services provided without charge (programs delivered on behalf of the government); $10 million for student services; $8.8 million for education and early childhood education programs; $7.5 million for general administration; $5.2 million for health and wellness and business programs; $4.5 million for the Piqqusilirivvik Centre; $3.3 million for Inuit language and cultural programs; and $1.2 million for the research and technology office.

Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) had a $37.4 million accumulated surplus at the end of 2022-23.

Revised programs

A couple of Nunavut Arctic College programs made their return over the past two years.

The bachelor of education, offered jointly with Memorial University of Newfoundland and better known as the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP), was "refocused" and "built on a foundation of Inuktut language and culture," according to the college.

It was offered in 15 communities to 152 students upon its reintroduction in 2022-23.

The Inuit studies program came back during the fall of 2023 following a comprehensive review.

On another note, 12 adult basic education programs, three office administration certificate programs and one diploma program, five college foundation programs, one pre-trades math and science program and three community fur production and design programs were offered in 22 communities in 2022-23.

Staffing woes

The college had almost as many vacant positions as staff in 2022-23. The institution's annual report states that 158 jobs were filled while 155 others were vacant. Nunavut Inuit occupied 98 of the occupied jobs, putting them at 61 per cent of NAC's workforce.

The "professional" category accounted for the most jobs (173) but sat at only 43 per cent of capacity. Administrative support was next with 58 jobs (64 per cent filled), then paraprofessionals at 43 positions (44 per cent filled) and middle management at 29 jobs (62 per cent capacity). The eight senior manager roles and two executive positions all had incumbents. Inuit occupied both of the latter roles and half of the former.

Geographically, Iqaluit had the most positions allotted at 111, of which 77 were filled.

Rankin Inlet was next at 59 jobs and 26.5 vacancies.

Cambridge Bay hosted 22 positions but only eight of them were occupied.

Arviat's 20.5 jobs were at 46 per cent capacity.

Research licences

The Nunavut Research Institute licensed 155 projects in 2022, a jump from 123 in 2021 and well above the 81 that were approved in 2020.

Physical science licences led the way at 79, followed by social science at 52 and health science at 24.

Research network access

In August 2023, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the arrival of an ultra-high-speed satellite network that connected the college with Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN), comprising 750 universities, colleges, research hospitals, government research labs and similar facilities.

Nunavut was the last of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories to gain access to the network, which is connected to more than 100 similar networks in countries around the world.

NREN has a speed of 200 gigabits per second.

Fact file

Nunavut Arctic College graduates by program in 2023

Environment technology diploma program: 14

Skilled trades worker program: 13

Nursing degree: 3

Practical nursing diploma: 5

Pre-health sciences: 3

Management studies (one-year certificate): 6

Management studies (two-year diploma): 2

Office administration: 3

Social service worker diploma: 5

Bachelor of social work: 5

Interpreter/translator diploma: 5

Computer systems technician certificate: 3

Professional driving class 1, 2 and 3 (with air brakes endorsement): 31

Pathway to adult secondary school (high school diploma): 5

Source: Nunavut Arctic College

About the Author: Derek Neary

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