Volume 92, Issue 2

Friday, May 22, 1998

increase this


Funding for fees

Gazette Staff

Western's new operating and capital budgets for 1998/99 passed at yesterday's Board of Governors meeting, with the introduction of a new fund offering assistance to students in Western's most expensive programs.

The majority vote followed a lengthy presentation detailing why additional tuition revenues are necessary to university functioning and assurances Western's deregulated programs could maintain their competitiveness with other schools.

Roma Harris, registrar at Western, presented administration's plan to introduce an accessibility fund for students in the three programs hit hardest by deregulation – medicine, dentistry and honours business administration.

Students from these programs who qualify for the Ontario Student Assistance Program are guaranteed a bursary which will account for approximately 50 per cent of the tuition increase in their specific program. This means business students would be eligible for $2,100 and medicine and dentistry students would receive $2,600.

Michael Rubinoff, a student member of the Board of Governors, said he was cautiously happy about the new fund. "We have to see it in practice before we pop open the champagne," he said.

Rubinoff said he was planning on introducing two amendments to the budget which would increase tuition more gradually than administration's plan, however, the introduction of the new fund made it unnecessary. "This will cover more than what we were going to propose," he said.

University Students' Council President Ian Armour was concerned the fund was thrown together too quickly, as it was only created late Wednesday evening. "There are so many unanswered questions – it would have been nice to see this earlier," he said. "What if you're from out of province and don't qualify for OSAP?" he added.

Dianne Haskett, London mayor and Board member, felt the administration is committed to addressing student needs as a priority. "I hope they will continue to dialogue with the student population."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998