Volume 94, Issue 88

Thursday, March 8, 2001


U of A gunman apprehended

USC ups fees in proposed budget

Highschoolers don't make the literacy grade

Study says exit grades aren't all that

New degree to build better execs


Corroded Disorder

New degree to build better execs

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

York may soon become the latest Ontario university to offer a gold-plated executive Masters of Business Administration program.

The $60,000, two-year degree is expected to pass the final stages of approval in the York University Senate, and is aimed at a niche market of business executives with between eight to 10 years of corporate experience, said Robert Camp, president of York's Schulich graduate business council.

"The key market is executives in Toronto, who currently go to the US to get their MBAs," he said.

Camp said the tuition fees for the executive program would likely be paid for by the companies who send their employees for additional training. "This would be a cost-recovery program," Camp said, noting the new program would help maintain lower tuition prices for Schulich's other business degrees.

The program will function as a partnership between York's Schulich School of Business and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois, Camp said, noting the two schools will offer a joint degree, develop concurrent curriculum and share equal faculty numbers.

Conrad Thompson, president of York's Graduate Students' Association, said the new program would be inaccessible to many students. "The GSA believes that this program is incredibly exclusive and discriminating, and will set a serious precedent in ensuring that access to education is only for the rich," he said.

Western, Queen's, and the University of Toronto already offer similarly priced executive MBA programs.

Paul Bishop, director of the executive MBA program at the Richard Ivey School of Business, said the $63,000 tuition is usually paid for by students' employers.

"There aren't many students who will take this program and pay for it themselves," he said, noting students are required to have eight years of full-time work experience.

The Ivey executive MBA program is run out of Mississauga, where it can tap into the Toronto market and allow students to continue working full time while taking courses one day a week, Bishop said.

Like Schulich's proposed new program, Bishop said Ivey's executive MBA is a full cost-recovery program. "This allows Ivey to do other things that are good for the school," he said.

Erin George, Ontario chair for the Canadian Federation of Students, said the public is still paying for high-priced executive MBA programs. "The corporations can claim a tax credit for the tuition. The more the tuition, the larger the tax credit," she said.

George said tuition fees are a key access barrier to post-secondary education. "$60,000 is well out of reach for the average student," she said.

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