Four Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Senators moved a question on the McGill’s stance on the deregulation of international tuition fees during the first Senate meeting of 2015 last Wednesday in order to better understand the future of tuition for international students in faculties where tuition is still regulated. The Faculties of Management, Science, Engineering, and Law are currently unregulated, allowing McGill to establish a tuition supplement above required provincial fees.
Provost Anthony Masi stated that McGill is committed to deregulation. He reiterated that the administration has already gone through phases of consultation and deliberation with the broader McGill community with regards to deregulation.
“There is a question of equity to Quebec taxpayers and a question of equity in terms of cost in education, and we try to balance those things,” Masi said. “We’ve had a position [on deregulation] for a long time. We’re not going back and re-consulting on that position [….] It’s been in all of our other behaviours for at least a decade that deregulation is the right way to go.”
According to Masi, if McGill were to begin pricing deregulated tuition for all faculties, it would have to do so with regards to the price of tuition at other Canadian, U.S., and international universities.
“Our international students don’t choose just to come to Canada; they choose to come to McGill,” Masi explained. “The price points have to be set in relation to McGill’s [international standing].”
Masi also noted that the university intends to maintain both its socioeconomic and international diversity.
“We are committed to ensuring that people have access to McGill regardless of their financial situation,” Masi said. “We would not want to do anything in setting international rates for students that would prohibit them from coming to McGill.”
Research, innovation, experiential learning
Dr. Sarah Stroud, associate vice-principal (Research and International Relations) delivered the annual report on research and innovation and progress report on Quartier de l’innovation (QI)—an innovation district in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood. Although McGill ranked third in FY2013 in Canada in terms of gross funding and funding per researcher, Stroud acknowledged that McGill’s researchers have not been as successful at innovation compared to other Canadian universities in recent years.
“The last three reports on research and innovation submitted to Senate have stressed the need for McGill to work differently with […] researchers, […] community partners, including investors and alumni, and [industries to] deliver knowledge, ideas, and new technologies that meet societal needs,” Stroud said.
According to Stroud, McGill researchers have been struggling to move discoveries to market. As such, McGill is attempting to create a stronger culture of innovation on campus and within the community through the QI.
“Through these initiatives, we, together with many other stakeholders within the community, are trying to create a campus culture that has a very broad understanding of innovation,” Stroud explained. “We’re working hard […] to improve coaching, experiential learning, platforms for industry engagement, and funding for innovative projects.