McGill supports tuition-fee changes


Published: 12Sep2008

International students will not face unfair burden

Recent changes to Quebec’s budget guidelines concerning university tuition fees for international students in some disciplines have raised some questions and debate.

This approach to tuition allows Quebec universities to increase tuition for international undergraduate students in six disciplines: Engineering, Management, Pure Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science and Law.

At the same time, the Quebec government will begin to reduce the grants it provides to universities to support these students, while gradually allowing universities to keep more of the international student tuition fees in these disciplines. This reflects the government’s decision to shift responsibility for funding these students to universities over the next six years.

While some have expressed concern that the new rules would immediately impose an unfair and sudden burden on our international students, this is not the case, said Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson.

“We have in general applied the same rate of tuition-fee increase for international students – 8 per cent – in most of the six disciplines affected by the policy change, as has been applied in the past several years,” Prof. Mendelson said. “We have not surprised our international students with an exorbitant fee increase at the last minute, nor would we.”

Tuition fees have not been increased for international students outside of the six disciplines.

McGill University has consistently supported the re-regulation of Quebec’s tuition fees. It is, however, McGill policy to allocate 30 per cent of any net increases in tuition fees to financial support for students. That will be the case with these increases, as the University seeks to ensure that access to a top-level education is not unduly hampered.

McGill has begun to study the ramifications of the new guidelines as they affect the University and our students. “We need to undertake considerable research before we can ascertain what additional increases the University might consider in the future,” Prof. Mendelson said.

It is quite likely, Prof. Mendelson added, that any increases in the future would vary according to program. For 2008-09, however, McGill’s fees have been set and there will be no additional increases this year as a result of the government’s new directive.

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Douglas Sweet
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