Home 10-fold tuition increase draws reprimand from Quebec City

10-fold tuition increase draws reprimand from Quebec City

by admin January 26, 2010

McGill University’s plan to increase tuition in its MBA program to $29,500 is coming under fire from the provincial government.
In a letter dated Jan. 15, Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne wrote that the increase would violate the principles of accessibility.
A copy of the letter, which was addressed to McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum, was obtained by the newspaper Le Devoir.
MBA tuition at McGill currently stands at a little over $3,400 for Quebec residents and $6,300 for students from outside the province. The increase is scheduled to take effect in September.

According to Le Devoir, the letter was also critical of the university for not seeking her approval before going ahead with the plan. Courchesne went further in the letter, saying the university cannot implement the increase without the ministry’s approval.
This isn’t the first time the Education Minister has criticized the proposed increase. When it was announced in September, she told the National Assembly that she had not approved it and called the plan unreasonable.
Munroe-Blum met with Courchesne on Friday, but when reached on Monday, McGill officials would not comment on either the meeting or the letter.
Julie Fortier, assistant director of media relations at the school would only confirm that they were “still speaking with the government.”

McGill officials say the increase is necessary to maintain the quality of the program. The university currently receives $12,000 per student in annual funding from the province, but according to the school, the real cost is $22,000.
In September, Ron Duerksen, director of marketing and communications for McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said the difference between this cost and the new tuition would be used to increase scholarship funding from an average of $400 per student to $4,000.

While the plan has received the support of the McGill MBA Student Association, other student groups, including province-wide lobby group the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which represents graduate students at McGill, have criticized the increase and worry other universities may follow suit.
Requests for comment from the provincial government were not returned by press time.