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12-16-2012, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
I doubt you would find many students willing and able to clean toilets competently for minimum wage. If anything, the dilapidated and dirty infrastructure at McGill shows they spend too little, rather than too much money.

And virtually none would be qualified for administrative roles, let alone the senior administrative roles that take the most salary.
There are plenty of administration positions that students can qualify for. From secretaries, to analysts, to web technicians, to accounting.

Because it doesn't make sense that McGill should be the only top-500 university in the world to not pay for business expenses.

A business expense should be paid by the employer.

I'll point out again that work computers and personal computers should be separate, for various reasons.

But by all means: don't cover business expenses. See what that does for recruitement and retainment.

I just got a new laptop-based work computer, it was $3,500, though that might be $2500 in North America, things are more expensive down under.

About $2000 for the macbook air, $1200 for the thunderbolt monitor, $300 for various such as wireless keyboard and mouse. Am likely to be getting some external hard drives soon.

And my needs are not particularly large. Many people I know require tens of thousands of dollars of computer equipment for their projects. I have already nearly filled up my 500 Gig hard drive just from installing necessary software and importing data from my thesis.

If you need power you might go for an 8-core desktop. Some people I know got some a few years back. It runs for several thousand dollars.

Not really, computers like business travel are business expenses that run into the four to five digits annually. They're very similar.
There is a difference between providing computers for special cases, then providing computers for basic research.

My room mate is a masters student in neuroscience, McGill supplies him with all he needs to collect data for his research. I am sure it is no different in any other department.

That being said, you still haven't pointed out why a university should buy a new computer to every graduate student. $2000 for a laptop is not bad at all, and can easily be provided and maintained by the student themselves.

You also didn't even need to spend $2000 and $1200 on a macbook air or 'thunderbolt' monitor. You could have spent $1200 on something that gave you the same specs.

I'm guessing they need to pay tuition out of the $23,000, so it's not really $23,000.

McGill physics pays $21,400, but that's before the tuition waiver:

I was paid $25,000 at Ohio State, in addition to a tuition waiver. It was typical for friends in the USA, One guy I knew went to Stanford in 2006, he got $30,000/year. Another one got about that at UC Irvine with a $10,000 starting bonus. Another guy I knew went to John Hopkins in 2006, he got $40,000/year to study biostatistics. All with a tuition waiver of course.
No Canadian universities offer tuition waivers, it is part of having an entire public tertiary system. However, considering Canada has some of the lowest (with Quebec being the lowest) tuition rates in the world, this is not a problem.

You are comparing some private schools to McGill, the only two that got substantially higher salaries were from John Hopkins and Stanford. These are universities that have a combined 6,000 undergrads. Apples and oranges, dude.

I'm talking about cost of living for a graduate student or other academic, i.e. the cost relevant to our discussion. It's a bit different than for the rest of the public so I understand if you're behind.
How is it any different? Cost of living indexes are composed of 5 or 6 basic costs that virtually everyone accrues by living in a particular place.

That same article would tell you that New York City is more expensive than Montreal, but the reality is that Columbia University owns a lot of real estate, and if you're a Columbia academic you can get a respectable apartment, in the middle of manhattan, for $700/month. A friend of mine got that, she just moved there to get a PhD in English lit.

This wasn't the case when I was at Ohio State, but within a 20 minute walk to you could get a respectable apartment for $600/month utilities included, without needing to pay extravagant heating costs. To have such an apartment in downtown montreal you would need to spend $1000/month ... either that or you could devastate your career by spending 2 hours a day commuting total.
Is this a joke? I'll repeat it again. Montreal has some of the lowest housing costs in the entire developed world.

I rent a very nice 3 bedroom, two floor apartment in Outremont for $1200. Which is a 30 minute walk from McGill. Good luck finding that in any major city in North America.

Your article also mentions health care cost. The private health insurance you get at US universities is almost always paid for anyway, and provides vastly superior service to the Quebec health care system. The one time in my five years I needed to go the ER it only took ~10 minutes to see a doctor, I was in and out with treatment in a few hours. The health insurance also covered dental.
McGill students get health care and dental insurance. From my experience, unless you are looking for a family doctor, the health care in Montreal is good quality.

Finally your article says clothing is cheaper in Montreal. That is true compared to some other countries such as Australia, but not compared to the USA. That said if Montrealers want cheap groceries, plane tickets, clothing, and alcohol they have the option of driving to Vermont or New Hampshire. That's what I often did in Montreal and it's what a lot of people do.
It said nothing about clothing. The purchasing power of Montreal residents is very high compared to anywhere in North America and Europe. I trust a study done by a reputable bank more than your anecdotal information.

Last edited by buddahsmoka1: 12-16-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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