Fees may climb even higher
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USC elections '99
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AGENT John Botting
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Fees may climb even higher
By Ian Ross
Tuition at Western is building momentum towards its second increase in 10 months.
In a preliminary report on recommendations for faculty budgets, student aid and fees were released by administration in written format yesterday. Last year's report was presented last March for consideration and passed in July.
Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said the document was developed through research including consultation with students and faculty, the consideration of the financial default rate of graduating students and actions of other universities in Ontario.
Moran blamed the government for forcing the hand of administration into this financial action. "We have become dramatically unhappy with the cuts in government funding," he said. "We had to turn to increased tuition because it is the only available revenue source we have."
The report proposes tuition for honours business administration, dentistry and medicine to be set for three years. HBA students would experience a freeze in tuition for next year with a $1,000 increase for each of the following two years to eventually total $10,000 per year. Dentistry would be set at $14,000 for each of the next three years while medicine would experience $1,000 increases in the next two years to reach $12,000.
Increased tuition was also proposed for the faculties of engineering (10.1 per cent), education (10 per cent) and law (10 per cent) for next year's entering class, while other graduate students could see a five per cent hike. All other faculties would continue to follow increases outlined last year.
University Students' Council President Ian Armour said he felt the rising burden on university students is not acceptable. "In no way, shape or form do I agree with this increase," he said. "Access should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay."
Affected faculty student councils were granted a preview to the proposal on Friday. Herbert Brill, VP-external junior for medicine's Hippocratic Student Council said the fact 25 per cent of medical students will graduate under last year's tuition costs with over $100,000 in debt brings the new tuition hike into perspective.
"We consider this tuition increase unacceptable," Brill said. "We are still reeling from last year's doubling of tuition."
Jeff Gandz, associate dean of programs at the Ivey School of Business, said he felt the rapid pace of tuition hikes for the HBA program was unhealthy but said there were few other avenues left to explore.
"I think the alternative not to provide a quality education is too costly," he said.
The proposal is currently circulating with Western's deans and members of the Senate Committee on University Planning and will be presented at an open meeting this Thursday. It is expected to be brought forward to SCUP, then Senate and Board of Governors in the spring, Moran said.