uAlberta proposal could signal differentiated fees

October 3, 2014

A proposal under consideration among University of Alberta administrators could see students in programs such as economics pay more than students taking an English degree. While many professional programs already follow a differentiated fee structure, this proposal would extend the approach to undergraduate majors, charging economics majors an additional $150 per course for domestic students and $554 for international students. “Economics is the most professional program we have [in the faculty of arts],” said Lesley Cormack, Dean of Arts at uAlberta. “People become economists and earn very high salaries.” Should the university approve such a proposal, it would still have to be vetted by the province, which has invited PSE institutions to submit “market modified” tuition fee applications to potentially avoid the current fee cap in 3 programs. Economics is not among the 3 programs already identified by uAlberta, but could be first in line should the provincial initiative expand. Whatever happens in Alberta will surely be of interest in other provinces, especially Quebec, which is currently facing budget cuts. Globe and Mail