Education News – Proposed university would be most expensive in Canada

If plans go ahead to split Sir Wilfred Grenfell College from its parent university, Memorial, it would not only create a new university in Newfoundland and Labrador?the move would also create ?the most expensive university in Canada? (1).

Along with Memorial’s Grenfell campus, the university also comprises the St. John’s campus, the Harlow Campus (in Old Harlow, Essex, U.K.), and the Marine Institute, also in St. John’s.

The proposed split would see Grenfell College, in Corner Brook on the province’s west coast, become a new university separate from Memorial. (Plans are still in the works, but the new university would operate either with complete independence or in a hybrid form with some administrative ties still remaining with Memorial.)

The majority of Grenfell students come from Newfoundland’s west coast–but with a declining population in the west, the campus’s proposed independence may come at too high a cost.

Currently, Grenfell costs nearly $11,000 per student to operate each year. After the proposed split, Grenfell’s operating costs would jump to between $12,000 and $14,000 per student, exceeding those of Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, at present Canada’s most expensive school.

In order to remain viable, an independent Grenfell would need to double their enrolment, yet, with the population decline, the ?college is already struggling to attract more than 1,000 students a year? (1).

Many are worried that the increased costs will be passed on to students. As Katherine Giroux-Bougard, with the Canadian Federation of Students, told CBC News, ?I don’t want students to suffer in the end with a poorer quality institution, or unnecessary costs that are at the expense of other expenses that should be done.?

(1) CBC News, 2007. ?N.L. college plan would create Canada’s most expensive university: report.? Retrieved August 30, 2007, from http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/08/15/grenfell-update.html

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