Desautels announces self-funding plan for MBA program

By McGill Reporter Staff

The Desautels Faculty of Management has announced plans to overhaul the tuition structure for its Master’s of Business Administration program, moving to a self-funded model similar to those used for its executive Masters programs.

For the 60 or so full-time MBA students who enter Desautels in the fall of 2010, tuition will be set at $29,500 a year – below the average for top-rated MBA programs in other provinces.

The new tuition structure is designed to cover all costs of instruction, student services and program operations. It will also enable the Faculty to increase scholarships tenfold and invest in improved student services.

The program has been running a deficit, Faculty officials said. Its current revenue stream per student (tuition plus government grants) amounts to about $12,000 a year, while costs to run the program are about $22,000 per student. (Annual tuition rates are currently set at $1,673 for Quebec students, $4,676 for students from the rest of Canada, and $19,890 for international students.) By making up the revenue shortfall, McGill in essence subsidizes an MBA education by about $10,000 per student per year.

With help from more than $30 million in donations from benefactor Marcel Desautels, the Faculty has rebuilt the MBA program. The improvements include development of an innovative MBA curriculum that integrates the teaching of traditional disciplines; the addition of more than 30 new professors; completely renovated MBA facilities; and significant investment in student advising and career services.

Competitors elsewhere in Canada, such as the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, have long set MBA tuition at rates designed to maintain program quality without relying on government or university aid.

Moving to a self-funded tuition model is necessary to sustain and further enhance the program, Faculty officials said.

The planned change applies only to the Desautels MBA program, which has 120 full-time and some part-time students. Current students are exempt from the new tuition structure.