The University of Prince Edward Island and the Atlantic Veterinary College are in a serious financial crunch with a projected budget shortfall next year.


UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz is trying to avoid harming morale at the university with cuts. (CBC)

UPEI is facing a projected shortfall of about $5 million for next year's operating budget. The AVC is projecting an additional shortfall of $3 million.

But under the University Act, universities may not be operated in deficit. They have to have balanced budgets.  

UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz said that means some tough decisions.  

"I want to make sure that if there is an increase in tuition, it is consistent with what we have done in the past and also is affordable for our students. And I don't want it to be a difficulty for them to be able to continue or finish their education at UPEI," he said.   

Abd-El-Aziz said the university is considering all options of ways to cut the school's projected shortfall.  

"I think I would have to say at this point everything is on the table. But we are trying to be extremely thoughtful about any cuts because ... it impacts the morale on the campus," he said.  

Abd-El-Aziz said he's is not sure what kind of position the province will be in to help.    

"I appreciate the hard work that the government is doing, of course I welcome any increase, but also I'm realistic about what the government can give us," he said. "I'm working very, very well with the government to try and achieve a balanced budget for UPEI."  

He said attracting more international students would bring in more money.  

The president said another way to generate more revenue would be to have more outside groups use the campus during the summer months.