Volume 93, Issue 22

Wednesday, October 6, 1999


Tuition freeze called for by med council

OUSA prepares to tackle tuition

New technology to aid interviews

Newman teaches students ABCs

High times in Montreal Marijuana centre lights up city

U of T housing in drafty situation


Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Tuition freeze called for by med council

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

A group of medical students made a recommendation this week to inject a little Novocain into their tuition.

On Monday, members from the hippocratic council of the faculty of medicine and dentistry attempted to persuade the Campus Community Affairs Committee to recommend a tuition freeze to the Board of Governors. At present, the rates have yet to be set for the 2000-01 year.

Using results from a survey conducted in early September, the council showed medical and dental schools are no longer as accessible to students due to rising tuition costs, said Sheilagh Maguiness, president of the medical class of 2002.

Herbert Brill, the council's VP-external sr., said the data showed 29 per cent of medical students surveyed expect a debt of over $100,000 after graduation.

"Our data showed even those students who paid tuition before the de-regulation of the faculties can't afford the debt load," Brill said. "This is serious for those paying tuition after the faculties were de-regulated.

"We don't want to see those doing their residency having to declare bankruptcy two years down the road," he said.

The faculty of medicine and dentistry was de-regulated in 1997, leaving final tuition decisions to the university, not the government. This resulted in tuition hikes to $10,000 and $14,000 respectively for the 1998-99 school year, Maguiness said.

On April 16 of this year, the Senate recommended freezing medical tuition for three years at $10,000. The Board disapproved the Senate's suggestion, said Western's VP-external Ted Garrard. He added the final say on tuition is in the hands of the Board.

Garrard said Monday's presentation has to be taken in context. Although appreciated by the Board, the presentation is one of many which will be considered when deciding the tuition for next year, he said

Garrard said several factors must still be assessed. "At this stage we're still considering a number of options but the Board always values any input it can get," he said.

The cost of delivering the program is one of the factors which has to be assessed, Garrard said. "At the meeting we saw one side of the equation – the cost to students. What it costs the university has to still be determined," he said.

According to Garrard a decision on tuition will not be made until April.

University Students' Council President SzeJack Tan said the group's presentation was very convincing.

"A roll-back would have been great for the students but not a realistic option," he said. "By calling for a freeze it is obvious the [council] is trying to seize the best scenario."

Both Brill and Maguiness said they are not expecting a quick decision but feel their request is fair.

"We knew we would have gotten laughed out of the room if we asked for a tuition cut," Maguiness said. "Our ultimate goal is re-regulation, but right now we're focusing on getting a freeze."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999