In their filing, the SCSU raised concerns about “unfairly high” co-op term fees that can run as high as $583 per academic session for international development studies, economic policy, physical sciences, and computer science. Guled Arale, vice-president, external, at SCSU believes some of these fees should be covered by the university’s central operating budget, and states that U of T’s ancillary fees are among the highest collected by any institution in the country — an issue that the university’s report declined to investigate. Many of Scarborough’s co-op programs in the humanities, social sciences, management, teaching, and science programs have work placement requirements in order to graduate.
Both the GSU and UTSU contested the Access Copyright fee (also called the CANCOPY fee), which charges students for the photocopying and distribution of published copyrighted works. The UTSU alleges that this is “an illegal fee that serves to benefit the university” as many non-students (including faculty) also use the service. The university’s response is that its agreement with Access Copyright is a short-term contract that can be reconsidered in December 2013.Some fees that existed before ministry guidelines were issued continue to fall outside of its jurisdiction, and will not be repealed. These fees include the $45 student system access fee, charged to access ROSI.
In general, union leaders have expressed concern over slow response times from both the university and the ministry. Dumelie stated, “The ministry has been slow in responding to us… We have received a little guidance from them, but over the course of a year, it’s not a ton.” Many of those involved with the union’s investigation had hoped to procure refunds for the repealed fees in the new year, a prospect that now appears unlikely.At the Governing Council’s Business Board meeting in January 2013, many administrators said they were glad the fee review was conducted, calling it a much-needed clarification. Sally Garner, of the Planning and Budget Office, said that the university’s biggest step moving forward will be its best practices website, which will be launched over the next six to eight months, and will ensure faculties and departments have the resources needed to set appropriate fees for their students.