Volume 95, Issue 85
Thursday, March 14, 2002
UBC tuition may rise
Shocked students hug trees
By Joel Brown
Tuition fees are expected to rise by more than 300 per cent for UBC's masters of business administration program one of several anticipated fee hikes at the school.
The University of British Columbia's board of governors is expected to approve the increases today, which are allowed after the provincial government lifted a six-year tuition freeze last month.
With the proposal, UBC's 15-month MBA tuition fee will rise from $6,650 to $28,000 next year.
Undergraduate students will likely see their tuition rise 22 per cent next year, from $2,181 to $2,661.
The plan also calls for medical students to pay $6,545 next year, up from $2,805. In the next few years, it will rise to $14,000.
Brian Sullivan, UBC's VP-students, said the increases are necessary to alleviate problems of reduced course availability, larger class sizes, library acquisitions and student support services that have resulted from a lack of funding.
Despite the increases, the school maintains no domestic student will be forced to drop out of UBC or be prevented entry for financial reasons, he said.
Since UBC's fiscal year begins in April, Sullivan said it is important the tuition budget is approved at today's meeting.
Summer McFadyen, B.C. chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, said the tuition increases could hurt many students.
"The proposal is outrageous and the tuition increase is going to be unbearable for many students," McFadyen said. "B.C. has the second lowest tuition in the country next to Quebec and we have continued to be consistently ranked one, two or three in having the best programs, largely because of our accessibility."
"Simon Fraser University is watching the UBC situation very closely and plans to present their tuition fee projections shortly," said Lindsay Meredith, SFU's associate dean of business administration.
"Certainly, tuition hikes are on our radar screen, but it is totally indeterminate at this point what they will be," she said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2002