Volume 90, Issue 96

Wednesday, March 26, 1997

red, white and blue


EDITORIAL: Don't forget the lint trap

Round and round and round. Western's students have been riding in the spin cycle for some time now. But while the pocketbooks are being cleaned, one wonders if students won't be the ones hung out to dry.

Case in point was yesterday's news conference about MBA cost-recovery which made it clear Western does not want to air its dirty laundry.

The conference focused more on the business school's accomplishments and its worldwide reputation than it did about the initiative itself. Ivey's case competitions and international network were mentioned but the fact students will be paying five times more for their education was skimmed over.

Spin, spin, spin.

The government, frankly, made it sound as if it was doing Western a favour by allowing the institution to collect full tuition fees, when in reality the government no longer has the burden. Minister of Education and Training John Snobelen congratulated the school rather than thanking it.

The administration also announced the creation of an Ivey Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund. The guidelines are the same as those for the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund – money will be donated and the government will match until March 31. The trust fund will provide financial aid and bursaries through the institute for business students with emphasis on the MBA program. Although the amount given to the business school, $4.5 million, is impressive and worthwhile news, the "creation" of the fund makes it sound like a brand new initiative for students – which it is not.

Spin, spin, spin.

The fact of the matter is, no matter what kind of a loan program is in place, students will be incurring huge debts relative to what students are paying now. They are certainly paying more than what the administration once paid. How many students will be discouraged from taking on that kind of debt? Because eventually, despite the fact it hasn't been mentioned, the loans have to be paid back.

The average salary of an MBA grad at Western is $88,000. But how many grads are below the average and how many are pulling the numbers up? There are no guarantees for students in any programs that they will reach a particular salary.

The door has been opened at Western. It would only make sense for students to be concerned their desired program could be the next to increase fees. The future of professional programs in particular is looking rather precarious. The Minister of Education and Training has said the province will look at further options. Law? Medicine? Education?

More change for the next cycle please.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997