Volume 94, Issue 70

Friday, January 26, 2001


NEWS

Students have say on Code - UCC forum takes recommendations

Former PM visits Western

BOG finance report raises tuition equity issue

Finding home sweet home, hard very hard

2001 USC: A mediocre odyssey

Corroded Disorder

BOG finance report raises tuition equity issue

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

A financial report presented at yesterday's Board of Governors meeting prompted discussion on the issue of whether students in Western's various faculties pay for an equal share of their education costs.

"It looks like medical students are getting a free ride," said BOG member, Ray McFeetor. "They've got the best deal of anyone out there."

McFeetor was referring to figures provided by the Board's property and finance committee, indicating only about 13 per cent of the money spent by the faculty of medicine came from students' tuition fees. By comparison, the figures indicated about 53 per cent of the faculty of social sciences' expenditures were covered by students' tuition money.

Western President Paul Davenport acknowledged students in some faculties must pay for a greater proportion of the cost of their education than students in others, but added this is necessary to keep student costs down in expensive programs like medicine.

Davenport said the problem lies in an imperfect government granting system, which often awards money to certain faculties that would be better spent on others.

"The government grants do not correspond well to the actual cost per student in many cases," he said. "The key point for me, though, is that I always think we're re-allocating government grants.

"Our document allows you to see that movement of money back and forth," he said, of the finance and property committee's report.

The disparity between the proportion of the education costs paid by medicine students and those in other faculties is not as great as the report suggests, argued BOG student representative and medical student Melissa Parker.

"I think that the 13 per cent is certainly inaccurate," Parker said. "If you look at the numbers carefully, that's because they've lumped medical residents into what they call medical students."

Parker explained residents are medical school graduates working full-time who are making a salary, and thus do not seem to pay a high tuition. The inclusion of residents in the medical student category skews the numbers, she said, making it appear as if non-resident, undergraduates in the faculty pay less than they do.

She said undergraduates pay over $10,000 per year in tuition. When taken as a percentage of the cost of a year of medical education, that tuition rate puts medical students on a par with those in other faculties, she said.

"Medical students are still paying over a third of the cost of their education. That certainly puts them in line with other faculties."


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