Concordia Tuition Fee Hikes Set for Next Year

Some International Students Hit As Well

Tuition fee increases were announced for next year at today’s Board of Governors meeting. Photo Brian Lapuz

A 2.7 per cent increase in tuition fees for Quebec students was announced at today’s Board of Governors meeting. Canadian students from outside Quebec and students from France will now be paying an extra 2.29 per cent as well.

Tuition fee increases for Canadian and French students are set by the Quebec government, and the increases were decided with the release of their budget in late March.

Last year, tuition fees increased by 1.5 per cent for Quebec and international students, and 3.43 per cent for Canadian students from outside of Quebec. Every year, tuition fee increases are set according to the cost of living.

In addition to that, students in the deregulated programs in the John Molson School of Business and in Engineering and Computer Science will also see their fees increased by 2.7 per cent, as was voted on in open session.

That means if you’re an international student at JMSB and you’re taking five classes worth three credits each, your tuition will go up almost $300 per semester as of next year.

JMSB and ENCS are the only programs that are currently deregulated at Concordia. The university decides the price for deregulated programs, which only applies to international students.

“We could also deregulate the programs in sciences, and we haven’t done that yet,” said president of the university Alan Shepard in an interview after the Board of Governors meeting.

“There’s not an immediate plan, down the road we may look at it,” he continued, while mentioning that the school gained permission from the Quebec government to deregulate programs within Commerce and Engineering as well but had chosen not to go ahead with it.

Increases were also made to the cost of the administrative and technology infrastructure fee that is charged to all Concordia students, and amounts to an increase of 27 cents and 13 cents respectively.

Prior to the Board of Governors meeting, documents were also released announcing that small fee increases will be made for the cost of rent for students who live on campus. The cost for meal plans will also increase for residential students by $200. A full breakdown of the increases can be found here.

Lucinda Marshall-Kiparissis, the former general coordinator of the Concordia Student Union, was the only member of the board who voted in opposition to increases in tuition fees and administrative and technology infrastructure fees. Marshall-Kiparissis was the only undergraduate student who had voting rights during the Board of Governors meeting.

“There wasn’t really enough justification for these increases,” said Marshall-Kiparissis after the meeting. “International students in these deregulated programs are already paying more than their international colleagues in other programs.”

“I encourage universities to find more creative ways of making up the deficit beyond downloading the costs onto students, there needs to be continued pressure from every actor in the higher education sector to encourage the government to reinvest in universities,” said Marshall-Kiparissis.

Terry Wilkings—former CSU general coordinator and the other undergraduate student representative—was also opposed to the increases, but was unable to vote since only one undergraduate representative is granted voting rights per meeting.

In March, the university sent a proposal to the Quebec government to increase their borrowing power from 700 million to 1 billion so that they could better deal with their deficit, but they have yet to receive an answer from the government. Shepard said their debt currently stands at just above 200 million.

He said the plan is to use that money so more can be invested in the school’s infrastructure. What’s needed now he says is a new Fine Arts building to replace the old one on Rene-Levesque, added engineering facilities, and perhaps even a downtown athletics facility.

The rest of the discussion on the school’s operating budget occurred in closed session. The full operating budget is expected to be released on Monday.