Telfer, which is based at the University of Ottawa, announced the program’s conclusion in an e-mail to supporters on Sept. 10.
“Due to major educational program budget cuts by our major sponsor, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, we are no longer in a position to offer the program in its current format,” the e-mail stated.
The program was intended to bring in scholars from across North America to teach them Canada’s fiscal and industrial policies. Telfer hosted more than 150 students since the program’s inception in 2004.
Dean François Julien told OBJ he preferred not to speak at length about the cancelled program, saying the e-mail spoke for itself.
He did not have budget numbers available for the program itself, but said the school brings in slightly under $20 million in revenues annually overall.
Telfer is looking to increase its revenue streams without drastically increasing the size of its student body, meaning it will look to other sources beyond tuition.
New revenue sources are expected to come from corporate training programs, sponsorships with companies overseas as Telfer expands internationally, and through forging connections with successful alumni who may want to give back to the school. (Some alumni already do contribute through touring students through their companies during the school’s annual trip to Silicon Valley.)
The school is finalizing a six-pronged strategic plan for the school, said Mr. Julien. On a high level, this includes objectives such as engaging with students, increasing the quality of the school’s programs, developing research and bumping up international agreements with other schools.
“We are looking at developing research, programs and more engagement with the community in these areas,” Mr. Julien said.
Telfer currently has about 3,600 students, with 3,300 in undergraduate programs and the remaining 300 taking graduate programs such as the MBA.
In terms of increasing tuition revenues, Telfer plans to introduce more schedule flexibility into the MBA - meaning including more options for online learning, for example - to appeal to prospective students with variable schedules.
Additionally, the school is offering business management courses for employees of The Ottawa Hospital on-site at Telfer, a concept it is working to expand through the public and private sector in Ottawa. The initial focus is on companies that are quickly growing, such as those on the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 list or Profit Magazine’s Profit 200 list.
Internationally, Telfer plans to launch an MBA program in Metz, France (near Paris) this coming spring, that will include yet-to-be determined “corporate linkages,” Mr. Julien said.
Telfer is also finalizing its pitch to implement a Ph.D. program, which will run no earlier than next fall. It will include areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, health systems management, and finance, accounting and guidance.
These measures are expected to bump student enrollment up to 3,800 in the next three years.
“What we hope to do is grow in terms of quality, increase the admission average, improve our program and the student experience, and grow our revenue base for more scholarships,” Mr. Julien said.