MUN scraps tuition fee hike for undergrad international students
Graduate, medical students to see increased costs, and residence fees going up
Memorial University's Board of Regents voted Thursday to scrap plans for a proposed tuition hike for international students in undergraduate programs.
In an afternoon vote, the board decided against raising the tuition costs for international students that was originally proposed earlier this year.
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President Gary Kachanoski said the demographic of international students was too valuable to risk losing that money due to increased costs, adding that it's a demographic that needs to be strengthened.
But if the budget is still in bad shape next year, Kachanoski said Memorial would again look at increasing tuition.
A 30 per cent tuition increase for graduate students — including international graduate students — was approved by the board Thursday evening. That will mean an addition $2 million will come in to the university.
This year's level of cost-cutting cannot be absorbed again without further impacts.- Gary Kachanoski
In addition, there will be a $600,000 increase in tuition fees for the MD program at the Faculty of Medicine, starting in September 2016.
Kachanoski said the increase would not affect Memorial's competitive edge over other Canadian universities because even with the increase, it would still be the lowest cost.
The proposed increase to residence fees was also approved, which will increase those costs by 30 per cent, and will generate roughly $1.9 million for Memorial.
If budgets don't improve, more cuts likely
In addition to a one-time reduction of $1.3 million to Memorial's operating budget, an ongoing base budget reduction of $3.6 million to administration was approved.
The board will also be seeking a one-year deferral of the pension payment required in provincial legislation.
Memorial implemented the cost-cutting moves and increased revenue generation as a result of loss of funding from the provincial government, which was announced in this year's budget process.
"This year's level of cost-cutting cannot be absorbed again without further impacts," Kachanoski said in a statement Thursday evening.
"Next year, if there are further reductions in government funding, further tuition fee increases and budget cuts will have to be considered."
Kachanoski added the university realizes these increased costs will have an impact on students, and Memorial takes those cost concerns seriously.
Any increases at the university won't happen until 2016.
With files from Laura Howells