Board of Governors’ President Kent MacDonald and Chair, Jim McIntosh talk Saudi Arabia and tuition.

By Samantha Long

The addition of two more campuses in Saudi Arabia along with an increase to mandatory tuition fees were the main points of discussion at Algonquin’s Board of Governor’s meeting held on Feb. 10.

Located in the city of Qatif: one campus is specifically for women, and one for men, both slated to open this coming September.

Then, female students will be able to continue their education in fields such as business studies, food production, fashion and beauty, while the male campus will focus on trade-related business and technology programs.

The acquisition of a female campus in Saudi Arabia arguably will help minimize concerns regarding Algonquin’s business relationship with Saudi Arabia stemming from the countries questionable human rights record.

“We want to be bridge builders,” said Algonquin’s President Kent MacDonald during the Board of Governor’s meeting. “We need to think about the young men and women’s lives in Qatif that we’re going to impact.”

The second important issue raised at the meeting was an overall 14 per cent hike in tuition fees plus the creation of a $17 student experience fee, resulting in about $120 increase over two semesters

According to the meeting outline, “The student experience fee is to actively engage Algonquin College students outside of the classroom and enrich their overall college experience, through an enhanced orientation program, SA President Sherline Pieris expressed that after careful review, the Student Association supports for the increase in mandatory fees coming into effect this September.