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Tuition freeze examined

By Adam Segal

Tuition for students in deregulated programs could be frozen, but only if the board of governor’s finance committee decides it’s in Ryerson’s best interests.

The board asked its finance committee to decide if the university can handle the cost of an additional two-year freeze on deregulated programs’ tuition after the board of governors tabled a motion for the freeze put forward by students at leas week’s board meeting. It will consider the idea while reviewing the budget April 13 and 20.

Committee members say they’ve been advised by Ryerson’s number crunchers to increase tuition in deregulated programs, like computer science, engineering and other professional programs, by $300. Administrators emphasize that’s a small increase, compared to some universities.

“Universities like Waterloo, U of T and Western … have deregulated their programs [by] about $1,000,” Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse said. “We’re not proposing that. Let’s make that very, very clear. The proposal at the finance committee was $300.”

Ron Stagg, a finance committee member who opposes deregulation, said it’s important for the university to consider its financial situation.

“I have the distinct feeling that people [on the board] are not trying to take money from the students,” Stagg said. “They’re just trying to find the right way to finance the university.”
Lajeunesse said deregulation may be necessary to ensure the engineering program continues to be accredited.

“Maintaining accreditation is a must,” Lajeunesse said. In order to remain certified, he said, Ryerson has to spend extra money to hire new staff and improve the student to teacher ratio.

“It’s all part of the plan,” said Cory Wright, RyeSAC v.p. education and president-elect. “[The board of governors] want to make a decision when students aren’t on campus. I think they are committed to deregulation.”

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