Government, McGill reach agreement on MBA tuition fees

The Quebec government and McGill University have reached an agreement in their tuition fee dispute.

McGill University can keep charging tuition rates for its MBA program that are nine times higher than the Quebec limit, following a deal announced Friday with the provincial government.

The Montreal university has been charging $29,500 for its MBA program -- drawing the government's ire.

McGill is redefining its MBA program to focus on international business. (CBC)
McGill had argued that Quebec's rock-bottom tuition rates had made it difficult to maintain the world-class program it wanted to build.

The school also argued that MBA students could easily afford higher rates, given that so many are experienced business professionals whose return to school is funded by their employer.

The Quebec government had rejected the idea of letting McGill set its own rates and fined the school $2 million earlier this year.

Now the sides say they've found a solution: McGill will redefine its program to focus on international business, while adding foreign teachers and mandatory overseas stints for students.

That will allow the university to define its program as a specialized MBA -- and to keep charging higher rates for it.

"This is not an exception, since other Quebec schools offer similar programs," Education Minister Line Beauchamp said in a statement.

The new international MBA program will start in fall 2012.