UBC Starts 2011/2012 Tuition Consultation

This will not come as a shock to anyone, but UBC is planning to raise tuition this year. Under Policy #71, the university is required to consult anytime a tuition increase is being proposed. Chad Hyson, executive coordinator of the VP Students office will present at AMS Council this Wednesday (6 pm, SUB 206) outlining the proposed tuition increases and fielding questions. All students with an interest are encouraged to attend.

The university’s tuition consultation website contains the details. As has been the case for the past number of years, tuition for domestic students is set to rise by 2%. For international students, a 4% increase is proposed. The 4% is broken down into a 3% HEPI increase, and 1% to fund international student financial aid. These are all the same as last year.

What is new, however, is this:

The University is further proposing to offer the incoming ISI cohort (2011/12) and ISI students currently enrolled at UBC (2011/12) a tuition guarantee in the form of an annual increase of 2% for the subsequent years (2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15), or until graduation from your current degree, whenever is shorter.

Cynics will look at this and say future tuition increases are a fait accompli, and point out how little value the university’s tuition consultation really has. On the other side, given that UBC can raise international tuition at whatever rate they like, matching the 2% increase seen for domestics leaves ISI students better off than the (4% + capital cost constribution) increases they’ve seen in recent years. Another benefit of a tuition guarantee is that it allows students to accurately predict the entire cost of their education before they enter, a benefit which domestic students don’t currently have but arguably should have as well. While some may disagree, this is a good idea and a small step forward for international students.

In the most recent AMS elections, tuition was a non-issue despite some candidates making it the entire focus of their campaign. It’s hard to find any reason to vehemently object to inflationary increases (or object at all, really.) However, if you do have thoughts about current tuition levels, or the proposed increases, you’re free to vent in the comments, or better yet, use the channels created in the tuition consultation to ask questions and create discussion with the administration.


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  1. A great proposal. Being unable to assess how much a degree will cost overall before enrolling puts international students in a huge worrysome place.

    That said, most students don’t finish in four years. Average time to complete a degree at UBC is 4.5 years, because UBC offers a lot of programs to extend one’s time on campus. Co-op being the immediate example.

    Perhaps the policy should be an ISI guarantee of 2%, provided full-time status is maintained. This would allow for more flexibility to pursue things such as co-op, without the fear of the 12% fifth year tuition hike that would adjust your guaranteed tuition level to the annually raised 4% rate.

    Posted by Alex Lougheed | January 25, 2011, 1:06 pm
  2. @Alex, I’m pretty sure that is what they are proposing, if the website is accurate. This year the rate will increase by 4%, but Int’l Students will be guaranteed at 2% for the next 4 years, or when they graduate, whichever is sooner. Let’s hope that this is the case moving forward, and we don’t get more intermittent jumps.

    Posted by Jeremy McElroy | January 25, 2011, 4:05 pm
  3. What they mean is that this cohort will only have their tuition raised by 2% next year.

    Next years cohort will pay more than 2%. More than the 4% too, to cover the funding shortfall the guarantee will create.

    My concern is that the guarantee expires after 4 years. After that 4 years, in order to synchronize with the incoming class’s tuition, that would be a 12% increase. That’s silly, given the number of programs UBC offers to try to keep you around for longer than 4 years.

    For example, if tuition was $100 the first year of admission for an American entering Engineering Physics, their annual payments would look like:

    $100, $102, $104.04, $106.13, $108.24, $121.67.

    Note the jump. It might cause a barrier for some people to graduate, because costs spike up.

    Posted by Alex Lougheed | January 25, 2011, 4:22 pm
  4. Oh, also, it needs to be noted that UBC calculates their own Higher Education Price index, then inflates ISI tuition by that.

    It’s normally 2-3%, and has little to do with an actual basket, as far as I can tell. The commonly used index in higher education is the American HEPI, and this past year it was 1%. UBC’s inflation was 3 times it.

    Posted by Alex Lougheed | January 25, 2011, 4:23 pm
  5. Imagine election candidates who make further tuition INCREASES the entire focus of their campaigns. Imagine the conversations.

    Posted by Syrup Trap | January 31, 2011, 3:27 am
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