Memorial University’s Dean of Business, Wilfred Zerbe, told CBC Radio Tuesday that he thinks Memorial’s MBA tuition fees should increase substantially, from $4,400 per year to “possibly” as much as $10,000. He says the increase would allow the school to provide more new courses, more scholarships and a dedicated career centre, which many other schools offer. Even with the increase, Memorial would still be one of the cheapest business schools in Canada. Queen’s University, for example, charges $65,000.
In addition, Zerbe said that higher tuition would attract more international students, because “they mis-perceive the low tuition as an indicator of low quality.” Zerbe said that he supports low fees for undergraduates, but thinks MBA students can afford the increase because they’re older, usually have more money and often have tuition fees covered their employers.
But Memorial post-secondary education professor Dale Kirby is opposed to the plan and wrote in his blog that Zerbe’s assertions about international students being attracted to higher fees is “contrary to any research I’ve seen.”
Zerbe responded by citing a study from Carrington Crisp, which found that more than 50% of full-time students agreed or strongly agreed they would pay more tuition than they had budgeted if it meant “I could attend a school which would give me a better chance to get a more highly paid job on graduation, if the school had better links with business and industry and if the school provided better support in finding employment.” Zerbe added that he believes MBA students choose their school based on the perceived value of services and its reputation they will receive, not on the tuition.