Students to dig deeper into pockets following tuition increases
By Sara Marett
Students digging into their pockets to come up with tuition fees for next year will have to dig a little deeper due to a recent decision made by Western's administration concerning tuition increases.
Tuition fees for all first-year entry undergraduate programs including arts, engineering, health sciences, kinesiology, music, nursing, science and social science will be raised by 9.4 per cent an increase from this year's fees from $2,941 to $3,217. Second-year entry programs such as applied health sciences, business, dentistry, law and medicine were hardest hit with 20 per cent increases.
The decision to increase fees was made by the administration after the provincial government announced it would allow universities to increase tuition levels for 1997-98 by an average of 10 per cent and any one program up to 20 per cent. As well, the administration will follow the government's mandate to allocate 30 per cent of additional revenue as a result of tuition increases to student aid.
Peter Mercer, VP-administration, said it has not yet been decided if the 30 per cent of additional revenue as a result of the increases will be used in the form of scholarships or bursaries, as it is still being discussed with the Ministry of Education and Training.
The suggested differential fees for 1997-98 are an attempt by the administration to reflect the earning expectations of the graduates and program costs as well as follow the pattern of last year's increases, VP-academic Greg Moran outlined.
The administration is aware of the students' opposition towards tuition increases. "We understand the students' frustration with the increases with the absence of an improved loan system. It is unfair to have one without the other," Mercer said.
Ted Garrard, VP-external, added the administration is always mindful of the students' reaction and conscious of the impact these changes will have on students. "This is why we are doing as much as we can to improve student aid. We are working hard to increase scholarships funds," he said. Garrard added it is fair to say tuition levels will continue to rise in the future, but it is hard to say by how much.