By Chris Adams, September 11 2014 —
Students in programs facing tuition hikes now have more answers on the University of Calgary administration’s plan to pursue tuition increases through market modifiers.
Provost and vice-president academic Dru Marshall attended Students’ Legislative Council Tuesday night. She revealed proposals to impose market modifiers in the the faculties of law, engineering and the masters in business administration program (MBA).
Marshall said she wanted to outline the proposal process and clear up “misinformation” around market modifiers.
“There has to be a plan in place to identify proposal benefits to the students directly and what the plan is for the additional revenue. There has got to be program specific data, what peer institutions were selected as comparators and the tuition comparison at those various institutions,” Marshall said.
Marshall didn’t reveal how much market modifiers would increase fees in these faculties.
Students’ Union vice-president external Levi Nilson said the majority of students oppose new market modifiers and he questions administration’s motivations.
“It’s more [the administration] taking advantage of a political opportunity than fulfilling a need,” Nilson said.
Hundreds of U of C students protested market modifier proposals in 2010. Business students saw their tuition rise by 38 per cent, or $232 per course. Fees for MBA students rose by 13 per cent, or $192 per course. Students in both programs now pay $777.42 per course.
The Council of Alberta University Students leaked draft documents to the media in late August. The documents revealed that minister of advanced education Dave Hancock intended to send out the call for universities to submit market modifier proposals this fall.
Marshall said, if approved, students currently enroled in these programs will not have to pay the market modifier.
Nilson said he hoped she would reveal more information.
“She did give us timelines, but considering that she didn’t give us any other information, those timelines are kind of useless. How are we supposed to plan effectively?” Nilson said.
Marshall outlined the criteria for submitting market modifier proposals. Applications must show how the modifier benefits students, how the faculty will spend extra revenue and show program-specific tuition fees at other institutions.
Marshall said student consultation is a priority before the modifier proposals are due Oct. 15. Consultation will largely be left up to the deans.