Tuition Consultation 2017/18

This consultation is now closed.


Each year, the costs of providing a university education increase due to inflationary pressures. In addition to taking action to reduce costs and pursuing other sources of revenue, UBC is proposing:

  • a 2% increase in tuition for all domestic students across all programs for the 2017/18 academic year. 
  • a 2% increase in tuition for new incoming international students in thesis-based graduate programs. 
  • a 2% to 3% increase for all continuing international students across all programs for the 2017/18 academic year.
  • a 2% increase in non-instructional fees for all students.

Click here for more details about the above proposal.

As part of this proposal process, the University is seeking student feedback through a confidential webform. Your feedback will be compiled and submitted first to administrators to inform the final proposal, and then to the Board of Governors, who will review comments before they meet to vote on the proposed tuition and fee increases. Your voice counts: please review the information below and provide your feedback by November 6, 2016.



Comments on this consultation will be collected by the Office of the Vice-President, Students (VPS). Individual students' comments will be stripped of any identifying information to ensure confidentiality. Comments will otherwise be presented verbatim to the responsible faculty and Board of Governors. Your comments will only be used for the purposes of the tuition consultation.

Comments received from student organizations will be reported as coming from those organizations, and provided to the Board of Governors as received. A summary report of the consultation will also be developed for and presented to the Board of Governors.




The University's budget is made up of two parts: the Operating Fund and restricted funds. Your tuition is part of the Operating Fund, which goes to general University operations such as faculties, student services, academic and financial supports, IT, and facilities. Restricted funds are earmarked for specific purposes like research projects, scholarships, and capital infrastructure projects including new buildings and community spaces.



Total operating revenues 2016/17


  • Government grants $595.1m 

  • Domestic tuition and fees $287.4m
  • International tuition and fees $218.2m
  • Research indirect costs $37.3m

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    Contributions from corporations and foundations to cover a portion of the University’s indirect or overhead costs of research, plus the Federal grant to cover a portion of indirect costs associated with Tri-Council Agencies' research funding.

  • Investment income $40.3m 

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    Interest earned on cash balances held by the University.

  • Commercial revenues $24.9m
  • Faculty revenues $194.6m

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    Billings by Faculties to cover extra costs, for example, the cost of clinical faculty in the Faculty of Medicine.

  • Revenue from central units $354.5m

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    Revenue from services provided on campus, including food services, the bookstore, student housing, and parking.


Total operating expenses 2015/16


  • Faculties $892.7m

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    Operating expenses of the Faculties, including salaries and benefits of faculty and staff, teaching support for students, some capital expenses, equipment purchases, and supplies.

  • Ancillary operations $220.3m

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    The cost of providing user-pay services on campus, including student housing, food services, the bookstore, and parking.

  • Student financial aid $72.7m

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    The cost of scholarships and bursaries not funded from external donations or endowments.

  • Student services $37.7m

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    Support for students, including health, counselling, and career development.

  • Facilities $169.8m

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    Building maintenance costs including repairs, utilities, waste management, and landscaping, plus insurance and campus security.

  • Central academic $191.8m

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    Services including the UBC Library, IT, and Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

  • Administration $82.6m

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    Administrative services including Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Payroll, and Procurement.

  • Research support $53.1m

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    The cost of supporting UBC research through functions such as strategic research planning; services for UBC researchers including project development and grant applications, contract negotiation, ethics approval, technology patenting and commercialization, publishing through UBC Press, and financial management and reporting; and support of research facilities such as those for animal care.

  • Alumni/development $26.6m

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    Costs of engaging with alumni and donors, including fundraising.

  • Community relations $9.3m

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    Activities that support the relationships and partnerships between the University and communities.




Research and endowment funds

The UBC Endowment funds specific research and academic projects, student financial support, and capital infrastructure projects. UBC's Endowment money comes from donors (75%) and land lease revenues (25%).

The University also receives significant research funding, with $600 million coming last year from NGOs, government, and industry research grants.

Construction costs

Construction and renewal of buildings, walkways, fountains, and public spaces are not funded by tuition fees. They are capital infrastructure projects funded through the UBC Endowment, private donations, government investments, and levies on UBC-owned land.




The University is facing financial pressures as costs continue to rise year over year, and revenue sources are constrained. While UBC continues to look for cost savings and other revenue opportunities, the proposed tuition increase is necessary to address inflationary pressures and maintain our commitment to an excellent teaching and learning environment. These inflationary pressures are, in part, calculated by consulting the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) to determine increased operational costs, such as: utilities, library acquisitions, data processing, supplies and materials, and equipment. The increase is also in line with Provincial Government policy which has, since 2005, capped tuition increases for domestic students to 2% annually. 

Increase in University expenses, 2008–2015 (source)

graph of University expenses per year




A moderate annual tuition increase is necessary to offset increasing costs and maintain the high calibre of education and services at UBC. 



UBC is proposing:

  • a 2% increase in tuition for all domestic students across all programs for the 2017/18 academic year.
  • a 2% increase in tuition for new incoming international students in thesis-based graduate programs.  
  • a 2% to 3% increase for all continuing international students across all programs for the 2017/18 academmic year.
  • a 2% increase in non-instructional fees for all students. 

Compare 2016/17 tuition amounts to proposed 2017/18 tuition amounts for:



The incremental revenue from the proposed increase to tuition and fees will be allocated in the same proportional distribution as the current base tuition and fees are distributed. The incremental revenue will be used to address inflationary pressures.



Tuition funds are currently allocated slightly differently depending on the program and type of student.

In general, the majority of tuition funds go to faculties to support:

  • teaching and learning;
  • faculty-based student services and programming;
  • learning and research infrastructure; and
  • research.

The second largest proportion goes towards central supports, such as:

  • infrastructure including the Library and IT services;
  • student services; and,
  • enrolment services.

Many programs also have defined student financial aid and financial support mechanisms, which draw a small percentage from tuition. These range by program and by type of student.

Tuition fee allocation




Each year, UBC provides approximately $100 million in financial supports through scholarships and bursary programs.


Financial support for UBC students, 2015/16*, by source




Financial support for UBC students, 2015/16*, by award type

Full details are available on the Board of Governors website.

* Latest available data



Students are invited to provide feedback throughconfidential webform.

Feedback will be compiled and submitted first to senior administrators to inform the final proposal, and then to the Board of Governors, who will review comments before they meet to vote on the proposed tuition increases



Please review the proposed tuition amounts below:

Learn more about support for students with financial need:





1. Why are fees increasing?

Like many organizations, UBC faces inflationary pressures. As a result, a tuition increase is necessary to help balance UBC’s budget.

2. What is UBC doing to keep tuition costs down?

We’re working hard to find ways to ease financial pressures without negatively impacting students. This includes increasing operational efficiencies, diversifying revenues to become less reliant on public funding, and finding other ways to save students their money.

3. Does my feedback really have an impact on what happens with my tuition fees?

Yes. If you have ideas about how UBC can better support your experience and help you financially, we want to hear from you. We'll be collecting student feedback and then will read, compile, and submit your comments to the Board of Governors before they meet to vote on proposed increases. 

Student feedback can influence how UBC allocates money to supporting students, and it may have an impact on how the University spends your tuition fees. Your voice counts.

4. How does UBC pay for construction, such as the new gardens and footpaths?

Tuition fees do not pay for these types of projects. Public Realm investments are funded by a municipal-like levy on land development in the University neighbourhoods (called Infrastructure Impact Charges). The net revenue from land development is used to finance student housing and is ultimately endowed to support the University in perpetuity.

5. How do I submit my questions or feedback?

Submit your questions or comments through our online form. Your information will be kept confidential.

6. What can I do if I am struggling financially?

For students on the Vancouver campus, Enrolment Services Professionals (ESPs) are available to advise you about financial assistance and other options available to you.

Students at the Okanagan campus can contact Student Information Services.