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Welcome to the Co-op Fee Comprehensive Review page. This space is a growing and changing project page dedicated to providing you with the most accurate up-to-date information about your co-op fee.
Co-op at Waterloo is funded by a student co-op fee (you can see the whole breakdown below). Every year, the fee is reviewed in alignment with projected future costs, determining whether or not an increase is needed. Factors such as enrolment, cost-of-living increases or additional resources can influence the projected budget and co-op fee.
Throughout this project, Co-operative Education is committed to:
The 2019/2020 co-op fee recommendation being submitted to the Board of Governors is a 0% fee increase to the existing $729 co-op fee. This is recommended given the existing and forecasted budget and has been determined to be the most fiscally responsible use of student funds. Formal approval of 2019/2020 co-op fee will be on the agenda at the Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
What you need to know about the proposed fee
For a more detailed breakdown of how the co-op fee is determined and set each year, visit our FAQ page. If you have any questions about this process, contact our project team. Stay tuned for more information as we work through this timeline!
In December 2017, the project team began brainstorming and developing the first draft of a “current state analysis” document that would summarize what we know about the co-op fee. The goals of this analysis were to:
This current state analysis summary is now complete with a snapshot of the above topics. To read this summary, visit the Co-op Fee Review: Phase 1 Final Report Summary.
In spring 2018, the project team conducted student surveys and focus groups to better understand student perspectives on the co-op fee.
We heard from over 3,250+ students who completed the survey, and hosted seven focus groups to dive further into their feedback.
Now, the results are in! Student survey has been analyzed to identify key takeaways summarized in the Co-op Fee Review: Phase 1 Final Report Summary.
After more than a year of work on this comprehensive review, we have worked through our original project scope and are now looking toward the future.
We’re happy to announce that there are a number of items that have already been acted upon or are currently in progress, as well as some that require further investigation in consultation with other campus stakeholders.
For a more comprehensive summary of what’s to come, visit the Co-op Fee Review: Phase 1 Final Report Summary.
Our project team has worked to find the clearest way to break down your fee. It's not as simple as looking at individual units and their budgets, as many of our staff members work to support different areas of co-op. For example:
We've taken into account every role and expense funded by your co-op fee and sorted them into seven distinct categories of work/costs - take a look at the budget breakdown below and see where your $729 went this past year.
We've taken into account every role and expense funded by your co-op fee and sorted them into seven distinct categories of work/costs below. We are working to show how much of your co-op fee supports each work category.
In fall 2017, there were almost 14,000 interviews in the first ten days of the first interview round. That’s a 15 percent increase in interviews (including in-person, phone and web-based) over last year. On a single day in October, there were more than 1,700 interviews.
Every term, our co-op program grows. With so many students and employers, it's critical that the core employment process functions as planned. Some key areas that are supported with this funding include:
Student success is critical to co-op, and student advising is an important part of that process. Student advising includes, among other things:
We know that 26% ($4.9 million) of our operating budget goes to co-op student advising, programming, and resource development expenses. We’ve broken this down even further:
With student enrolment growth comes a higher number of employer relationships. In 2017 we had over 6,900 active employers. Many of the best employers in the world hire from Waterloo, and many hire over and over again. St. Joe's Hospital just hired thirty-five Waterloo students in the fall 2017 term to help transition to a fully digital hospital.
Last year we were named #1 in Canada for employer partnerships, and #4 in the world (QS graduate employability rankings). Nurturing employer relationships is crucial to the success of our co-op program. To maintain this level of employer partnership, this funding supports:
Academic programming is very much aligned with the co-op program, and communication between faculties and co-op is integral. Co-op must maintain strong relationships within the faculties to support 120+ co-op programs. This funding helps support:
The University's employer network stretches across 60+ countries. In 2017, Waterloo onboarded more than 1,400 new employers. Our business development team connects face-to-face with prospective employers at hundreds of events, trade shows and meetings across North America each year.
New business is a priority to ensure the growth of Waterloo co-op. This funding supports:
Last year, more than one million co-op job applications were processed by WaterlooWorks. This led to 67,500+ interviews and 19,100 work terms. The infrastructure and administration supports all five of the previously listed areas of work. This funding supports:
University central costs account for our department’s continuous access of centralized resources and services on campus. This includes overheads such as: management of building and space costs (Plant Operations), employee benefits (Human Resources), access to university technology networks and tech supports (IST) and more.
These central costs are automatically deducted by the university and are not considered part of the operating budget of the co-op program.
The University of Waterloo has more co-op students than Canada's next two largest post-secondary co-op institutions - combined.
With increased size and diversity comes increased complexity. There are 150 full-time ongoing staff members that make the University of Waterloo co-op program possible. There are also contract and casual staff that support the co-op process for special projects and at peak times each term.
For more information and metrics around co-op, visit our 2017 Annual Report.
Here are some of the themes and findings we've heard from students throughout this stage of the project:
The current process for setting the co-op fee is outlined on the FAQ page. You've told us that students desire more involvement in the fee-setting process. In our next project phase, we will look at how student voices can be more involved in communications around the fee-setting process.
We will be looking at when and how students are finding out about their co-op fees for their academic programs during the next project phase after consultations.
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