Tuition increase and change in fees
It comes as no surprise that tuition fees have increased again for the 2012-2013 school year, but there have also been some changes that deviate from the normal fee increases that put some students at a disadvantage. This year alone, tuition has risen approximately 4 per cent for most students. However, some students will be paying up to 9 per cent more due to their choice in faculty. Business students are an example.
Instead of charging student’s faculty fees, business students will see fees split up and applied to each class they are taking. Since faculty fees for business students are higher than fees for other faculties, these students will be paying between $50 and $100 dollars more than other students for any of their business and non-business classes. For example, a business student would pay $713.85 for an English 100 class, while an Arts student would pay $624.60.
This concern has been brought up by business student, Kimberly Hiebert. She says what she finds “bothersome…is the fact that they took away the extra fee and applied it to all of our classes instead…So for the arts electives that I’m currently taking, I have to pay more than the arts students that are sitting right beside me.” Before the change in fees this year, business students were charged one fee for the faculty.
Iris Mi, an international business student, explained where these fees would go. “Business students definitely have taken the benefits of paying more tuition than other students. We have well-facilitated classrooms, study rooms and computer labs as well as helpful co-op and mentor program running,” Mi explained.
"For the arts electives that I’m currently taking, I have to pay more than the arts students that are sitting right beside me.” – Kimberly Hiebert
This still remains the case, despite the changes in fee distribution this year. However, with the excess charges being distributed to the classes, not the faculty, students are being forced to pay more for classes that are not business-oriented, and therefore, no longer offer the benefits that the extra charges assure.
Mi revealed another misconception about the business faculty, and explained why having high fees for the business faculty in itself is unfair.
“People usually have the assumption about business classes that [they] should be more expensive because students can make more money after they graduate. It's not true. The competition in terms of job seeking is getting incredibly intense due to the increase[d] amount of business student[s] and the under-demanding job market. Therefore, the possibility of unemployment increases,” she explained.
Students who are aware of this new fee structure have been working on finding possible solutions and ways to deal with the changes, but Hiebert says that things have been unsuccessful so far.
“I know that some members of the faculty brought it up in a meeting that I believe was with the president of the University. As far as I know, no explanation for the greater increase for business students was given, and…there doesn’t seem to really be any action being taken,” she said.
Mi agrees, saying that the general attitude of the students towards the fee has been one of apathy, where students “are aware [of the changes,] however, very few students do care.”
Additionally, the University of Regina approved another increase in fees for business students, but this was directed only at international business students.
“[Canadian students] who study in business pay $620 for one class [while] an international student pays $1861,” Mi commented.
This extra charge does not offer international students any more benefits than Canadian business students. Leaving international students with the option of paying the high tuition, or losing their credit hours by transferring to another university.
“…for the students who transferred to the business faculty through…cooperative education program from a variety of Chinese universities…We would have less credit hours transferred…if we choose to transfer to a university other than U of R,” Mi further explained.
The University of Regina’s changes in fee structure, and the overall increase in tuition has forced business students and international business students to pay more for their education. This disadvantage, according to Mi, has made the U of R lose “its competitive advantage” over other universities.