VIU Scenery

2004 - 2005 Tuition Plan


TO:                  Board of Governors

FROM:            Executive

DATE:             February 13, 2004

RE:                  Recommended 2004-05 Tuition Plan for Base-Funded Programs and International Students

A.     Introduction

This year, Malaspina intends to adhere to the tuition principles outlined last year.  This memo makes specific recommendations for tuition levels in 2004-05.  The changes would come into effect September 1, 2004.

B.     Malaspina's Tuition Principles in Review

Principle 1:    A wide range of quality programs

Malaspina is committed to providing the mid-Island region with a wide range of quality programs.  This may sometimes mean that programs will cost more to deliver at Malaspina than they would at larger institutions with more economies of scale.  However, because tuition is only a part of the total cost of education, being able to attend a program at Malaspina can mean significant financial savings for a student from the region, even with higher tuition.  Malaspina will not choose to teach some programs rather than others simply because they are less expensive to offer and therefore help to keep tuition lower.  Nor will it compromise the quality of programs, just to keep tuition lower.

Principle 2:    Affordability

Malaspina recognizes that increased tuition can make education unaffordable for students with limited financial means.  It will therefore continue to encourage the provincial and federal governments to:

  • Provide grants that are sufficient to keep tuition levels reasonable; and
  • Arrange financial assistance programs to ease the burden on students with limited means.

Malaspina also accepts the responsibility to:

  • Offer a quality education as efficiently as possible, thereby reducing the need for higher tuition; and
  • Ensure that a portion of the budget goes towards bursaries and on-campus employment opportunities that can help to reduce the financial burden on students.

Principle 3:    Simplicity and consistency

Malaspina recognizes the value of simplicity and predictability in tuition fees.  To this end, in setting tuition for programs that are supported by the operating grant from the Ministry, Malaspina will:

  • Include most University costs paid by students within the general tuition level and avoid add-on charges and user fees for specific services, unless there is good reason to believe that a separate charge for a specific service helps to encourage more responsible use of that service.
  • Set tuition levels equally across all academic and career credit programs for years 1-4, thereby eliminating the distinction between fees for lower-division and upper-division courses.
  • Set the monthly charge for vocational programs, where one FTE of instruction is based on ten months of instruction, to be equal to one-tenth of the value of 30 credits of instruction (i.e., one FTE) in the academic and career program area.

Principle 4:    Benchmarking

In assessing the quality of instruction and services it supplies and the tuition levels that are appropriate to support this quality, Malaspina will benchmark itself against a set of peer institutions-primarily other university colleges, technology institutes, and primarily undergraduate universities that are oriented to a regional market within a provincial system.  At the same time, Malaspina remains committed to offering quality programs and services at tuition levels that are below those of UVic, UBC, and SFU.

Table 1: Basic tuition fees for benchmark institutions 2003-04

Per credit
Per Month

British Columbia Institute of Technology1



University College of the Cariboo2



Kwantlen University College3



University College of the Fraser Valley4



Vancouver Island University



Okanagan University College5



Simon Fraser University



University of British Columbia



University of Victoria



1  BCIT's implemented differential fees and therefore the tuition can vary by program. It is assessed by credit but with caps for a level (=semester). The per-credit values represent part-time-course-by-course fees to a tuition maximum of $1,680 per level.  The full-time per credit tuition for bachelor programs cap at $2,250 per level.  For comparable bachelors in nursing, business administration, and computer systems technology the per-credit tuition was derived from the stated credits per level as $89/$173/$184 respectively.

2  UCC has started to differentiate fees by program. These are the most common fees.

3   KUC has a full-time continuous enrolment weekly fee of $87/week converted to $356/month. Although some of their vocational programs are credit based the calculated average monthly fees are in the same order as the monthly estimate provided from the continuous enrolment weekly tuition.

4  UCFV has a lower-division, upper-division distinction.  Weekly rates of  $100 (vocational) and $82.80 (trades and technology) converted to monthly.

5  OUC: The 03-04 rate is $80/week. 2004-2005 projected tuition is $120/credit, and $144/credit for courses with lab components. The new 04-05-fee increase is $90/week or $369/month.

Principle 5:    Cost-recovery and competitive international fees

Malaspina recognizes the educational value of a diverse population of international students on campus.  Malaspina also recognizes that education for international students is not subsidized by the Government and that these students must pay the full cost of their education.  Therefore, the fees for international students will consider market conditions and be designed to include (a) the equivalent of the Ministry grant for domestic students, (b) the tuition a domestic student pays, (3) any special costs involved in attracting and retaining international students, and (4) a levy for capital costs (e.g., buildings and equipment).

Table 2: Basic international fees for benchmark institutions 2004-05


$$ per credit

$$ per Semester

British Columbia Institute of Technology



Camosun College


4,796 (proposed)




University College of the Cariboo*


5,750 (proposed)

Douglas College



Kwantlen University College



Langara College


2,175 [7 week ESL]

University College of the Fraser Valley



Vancouver Island University


4,500 [ESL 3900]

Okanagan University College


4170 (25hrs/wkESL)


Simon Fraser University

457 (03/04)

3,400 [ESL]

University of British Columbia

542 (03/04)

3,696 (3,810) [ESL]

/~8100 + [Academic]

University of Victoria


3,350 [ESL]/~$5500 + [Academic]

Notes:  Malaspina charges International students once per semester and not by credit hours. VIU's ESL tuition is currently $3900 and is not projected to rise.

C.     Tuition Recommendations for 2004-2005

1.   Increase the per credit charge to $114

This is an 11.76% increase over the current charge of $102 per credit.  Budget analyses suggest this is the increase required to sustain current operations and to attempt to increase our activity to the level necessary to reach Ministry enrolment targets.  This tuition increase is significantly lower than some announced by other institutions.

2.   Increase the monthly charge for full time vocational programs to $342

This change from $306 per month is the same 11.76% increase applied to academic and career-technical programs.  The new part-time monthly rate (60% of the basic rate) would be $205 per month.

3.   Add-On Fees

In its tuition principles, Malaspina continues to be committed to minimizing add-on charges to students for specific services - unless the separate fee encourages more responsible use of that service.

4.   Fees for general pre-college and developmental programs (ABE, ELT, ASE) remain unchanged.

5.   Increase the Co-op Education fee to $506 per semester 

This is an 11.95% increase over the current fee of $452. Despite increased co-op fees it is apparent that VIU remains competitive with similar institutions. This proposal of $506 is approximately 50% of the normal rate of tuition for 9 credits, which is the normal credit value of a co-op semester.

6.   Student Assistance initiatives in the amount of $625,000 instituted in the last two years will be maintained as a minimum, and an increase may be considered.

7.   Set international fees at $4,500 per semester (for Degree, Diploma, and Certificate Students).  ESL fees to remain at $3,900

Among the university colleges, Cariboo has the highest international fees.  Malaspina's academic enrolment is up again year on year, however stiffer competition in ESL has seen a drop in our ESL numbers, which can affect academic enrollments in the long-term.

8.   Cost recovery and special program fees to be determined

The basic tuition levels that are recommended above are for base-funded (i.e., Government supported) programs delivered during the regular academic year in standards formats at Malaspina's primary campus locations.  Malaspina reserves the right to establish the fees of other programs at full cost recovery levels.  Base-funded programming delivered in unusual formats or delivered at unusual times or locations may also have extra fees to cover the higher costs.