(Montreal) Quebec’s English-speaking universities have made a proposal that it describes as “improved” to the Legault government concerning tuition fee increases for new foreign students and from other Canadian provinces.
The provincial government announced on October 13 that Canadian students who begin their studies in fall 2024 will pay the equivalent of what their training costs the government, i.e. $17,000 per year, instead of the current $9,000.
International students would have to pay $20,000 in tuition fees.
On November 6, Bishop’s, Concordia, and McGill universities presented the CAQ government with a new offer that proposes increases in tuition fees based on different disciplines of study. They claim not to have received any concrete feedback from the government on this offer.
Concretely, the proposal suggests that students in arts, sciences, education, nursing, psychology and agriculture — which represents 79% of students outside Quebec — pay $9,000 in tuition fees.
During a press conference Saturday morning, Fabrice Labeau, first associate executive vice-principal at McGill University, indicated that the fees for these programs in other provinces amounted to approximately $6,000 per year.
In the proposal from English-speaking universities, students in engineering, computer science, and administration would have to pay $14,000. This group represents 16% of Canadian students outside Quebec at the universities concerned. For comparison, students at the universities of Toronto and British Columbia must pay $14,500 and almost $8,000, respectively.
The highest level which targets students in medicine, dentistry, law and pharmacy would amount to $20,000, well below the fees in other provinces, recognizes Mr. Labeau, who emphasizes, however, that they only represent 5 % of their Canadian customers outside Quebec.
McGill, Concordia and Bisop’s universities maintain that their proposal is a “compromise aimed at achieving the objectives of promoting and protecting the French language.”
To do this, they plan to deploy a francization program which aims to ensure that 40% of non-French speaking students reach level 6 in French upon graduation, considered an intermediate level according to the Quebec scale of French proficiency levels.
English-speaking universities say that the provincial government’s October announcement on potential increases is already having an impact on admissions requests from Canadian students outside Quebec. McGill University reported that these fell by 20% compared to the same time last year and Concordia University by 16%.