Tuition for the Master of Business Administration program at McGill University will increase to $29,500 for all students, starting next fall.
Annual tuition for the MBA program at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management was just over $3,400 per year for Quebec residents, just over $6,300 for Canadians from out of province and $21,600 for international students.
The increase will not apply to students currently in the program. The move will make the program entirely “self-funding,” meaning that students will be paying the entire cost of their education, and the program will no longer receive any funding from the provincial government.
The plan has received criticism from Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne. At the National Assembly on Tuesday, Courchesne said the increase was unreasonable and that she had not given her approval. It is unclear whether she will take any action to stop the move.
Concordia University recently received a letter from the ministry asking for a report on any so-called privatized programs, according to administration.
McGill University said the increase was necessary because provincial funding doesn’t cover the cost of the program. According to McGill, it costs $22,000 per student, each year, while the school only receives $12,000 annually, per student, in tuition and provincial funding.
According to Ron Duerksen, director of marketing and communications for the Desautels Faculty of Management, the difference between the cost of education and the extra tuition will be used to increase the average scholarship for the program from $400 to $4,000 per student.
Allison Aab, President of the MBA Student Association at McGill, said she supports the increase.
“The fact that they’ve been able to put this together with the funding model that they have is remarkable, but to maintain this and to take it any further, to improve anything, it’s just not possible with the government model,” she said.
While the jump may seem large in relation to other Quebec schools, Duerksen said that it still remains competitive when compared with schools outside of the province.
“Most other MBA schools across Canada already charge a self-funded tuition model, so our new tuition is actually still going to be below what’s charged by some of the other top schools in Canada,” said Duerksen.
Aab agrees. “Even at the increased price it’s still a great bargain, in my opinion. Especially when you compare it to comparable programs in the States, $29,500 is a good deal.”
She said that higher tuition might also increase the perceived value of the degree.
“It’s hard for people to understand that you can be getting a world-class MBA education when you’re paying $1,600 for a semester,” she said.
Other universities in Quebec will be watching the move.
“We will observe the situation at McGill and assess its impact but at this point we are not considering an increase in fees,” said Chris Mota, Director of Media Relations at Concordia University. “Interest in our MBA program has been growing steadily because of the reputation of the JMSB. The new building will likely create even more interest. The new fees at McGill may result in an increase in applications as well.”
2009-10 MBA tuition across Canada
(for Canadian residents):
(Ted Rogers School of Management) one-year degree: $12,247
Simon Fraser University
one-year degree: $27,000
University of Western Ontario
(Richard Ivey School of Business) one-year degree: $64,000
University of Toronto (Rotman School of Business) two-year degree: $34,012 first year, $35,372 second year
(Schulich School of Business) two-year degree: $24,600 /
University of Ottawa
(Telfer School of Management) one-year degree: $18,335
University of Manitoba
(Asper School of Business) one-year degree:
University of British Columbia
(Sauder School of Business) 15-month degree: $39,746
University of Montreal (HEC)
one-year degree: $3,738 (Quebec resident), $10,450 (out of province)
one-year degree: $62,500
(John Molson School of Business) one-year degree: $3,283.31 (Quebec resident), $6,816.11 (out of province)
Sources: University websites.
Note: Fees may or may not include books and/or auxiliary and other fees.