February 29th, 2024

Quebec going ahead with out-of-province tuition hikes despite advisory body concern

By The Canadian Press on February 4, 2024.

The Quebec government is moving forward with a plan to hike tuition for out-of-province Canadian students by about 30 per cent, despite a letter from a government-mandated advisory committee urging them to reconsider. Quebec Minister for higher Education Pascale Dery responds to the Opposition during question period, Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

MONTREAL – Quebec is moving forward with a plan to hike tuition for out-of-province Canadian students by about 30 per cent, despite a letter from a government-mandated advisory committee urging them to reconsider.

Committee head Éric Tessier says his group wrote to Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry last month to advise her the hikes could compromise access to education and make the province less attractive to talented young people.

Tessier said in an interview that the Comité consultatif sur l’accessibilité financière aux études also believes it shouldn’t be up to students to bear the burden of financing higher education.

But a spokesman for Déry says the committee’s letter disregards the key goals of the tuition hike, which include correcting the financial imbalance between French and English-speaking universities and reducing the share of public funding for out-of-province students who often leave after graduation.

Déry’s office noted the committee, which is mandated to advise her department, sent their letter after the deadline to submit opinions had already passed.

The government says it is focusing on implementing its plan for the fall, which includes raising out-of-province Canadian tuition from around $9,000 to $12,000 and imposing new rules to ensure most students are proficient in French when they graduate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2024.

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