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Potential fee hikes at $170 per course in engineering, $300 for MBA

By Chris Adams, September 25 2014 —

The University of Calgary is proposing market modifiers, increases in tuition for faculties with a perceived higher earning potential, of $170 per course in engineering, $250 per course in law and $300 per course in the masters of business administration program (MBA).

The government of Alberta sent out the call for university’s to submit proposals for market modifiers this summer. Engineering and MBA students learned the details of their faculty’s proposals just over three weeks before the Oct. 15 deadline for proposal submissions.

The faculty of engineering wants to bring tuition to par with the University of Alberta’s engineering program.

Engineering dean William Roseheart notified engineering students of the proposed increase in an email sent on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Seventy per cent of the modifier will go to the faculty and 30 per cent will go to administration. Twenty per cent of the faculty’s share will go to scholarships and bursaries.

A total of $3.85 million per year will be raised from the faculty of engineering’s modifier.

The Engineering Students’ Society survey results on market modifiers will likely be published on Monday, Sept. 29. The survey asks whether students approve of the increase, if students would like to see it modified or if they would accept any market modifier proposal.

Last year’s ESS survey also asked students about market modifiers. Ninety-five per cent of engineering students opposed approving one.

Students’ Union engineering representative Parsa Samavati met with Roseheart last week to discuss the modifier.

Both sides acknowledged that student groups and faculty have opposing views on the modifier. Samavati said that instead of debating whether or not a modifier should be adopted, they discussed how the faculty should spend its revenue if the proposal is accepted.

“If the assumption is that students will be paying more anyway, I think this proposal is very aware about where they need to be putting the money. I like to think that our dean really has consulted with us and doesn’t want to make unilateral decisions,” Samavati said.

Faculty of business dean Jim Dewald consulted with both the Masters of Business Administration Students’ Association and the Graduate Students’ Association. He hosted two town halls and said MBA students in attendance largely supported the modifier.

Dewald said the proposed $300 per course increase will help the faculty expand its internship program.

“We’ve been experimenting with this for a year. The full-time MBA students, it gives them an opportunity through the summer to put their skills to work. Now we need the money to really make it a big part of the program. That would be a huge loss if we weren’t able to do that,” Dewald said.

Faculty of law dean Ian Holloway unveiled his faculty’s proposal at a town hall Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Law dean Ian Holloway said that if the Society of Law Students doesn’t support the modifier, he won’t propose it. SU vice-president external Levi Nilson applauded Holloway’s stance, but is critical of consultation in other faculties.

“It’s pretty frustrating if the ESS is opposed to it and they still go forward with it. What was the point of doing consultation if you’re not really listening?” Nilson said. “That will have a huge effect on how engineering students interact with their faculty and definitely how we interact with administration.”

Student leaders have criticized the shortened timeline for consultation. Nilson said administration is taking advantage of a political opportunity.

“If it wasn’t, we would see the faculty coming to the students not a week and a half before the proposals are due,” Nilson said.

Dean Roseheart will attend two town halls held in the engineering building’s Devon Centre on Friday, Sept. 26.


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