Rising Tuition

Rising Tuition costs are one of the issues facing youth and parents as they choose universities. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has an article titled Tuition fees on the rise … again which covers the Canadian scene. Associated with the article is an interactive panel Canada’s climbing tuition fees. The article, which is based on Statistics Canada data, says,

The stats reveal the trend behind those tuition bills — that students are paying an ever-growing share of the cost of running their schools. Thirty years ago, tuition fees accounted for less than a seventh of university operating revenue. Now, it’s more than a third, as governments increasingly download the cost to the students (and their parents). The current crop of Canadian university students may find it hard to believe, but there was a time when tuition fees were so small, they were almost an afterthought.

A different view on tuition comes from the Stanley Fish Opinionator column titled There Is No College Cost Crisis in the New York Times. A sequel by Archibald and Feldman titled College Costs, the Sequel argues that the real costs of a variety of personal services, not just education, have been rising at the same rate. This is due to the costs of the service and the lack of productivity gains in such service sectors. In particular technology leads to higher costs as education tries to keep up.

For the most part, technological changes in how we teach, how we do research and how we equip our facilities have come at a cost. Some new technologies do make us more efficient. We no longer employ typing pools. But other new techniques, like computer-aided design in architecture classes or pulsed lasers in physics labs, have increased cost.

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