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Déry reviews its position on university prices

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Quebec is moving forward with its new university funding policy, strongly contested by English-speaking establishments. (Archive photo)

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The Legault government agrees to modify the new university funding policy that he presented in October. Prices for Canadian students not resident in Quebec will be lower than expected. McGill and Concordia, however, remain frustrated, unlike Bishop's, who speaks of a “positive” outcome.

Under the new rules decreed by the Minister of Higher Education, Pascale Déry, the minimum rate for Canadian students not residents of Quebec, which was to increase from $9,000 to $17,000 per year, will ultimately be set at $12,000.

Ms. Déry made her new position known in a letter sent Thursday to the rectors of McGill, Concordia and Bishop's, the three English-speaking universities in the province, who have been particularly vocal since the month's announcement of October.

The new measures also provide that part of the funding for non-Quebec students will be subject to the tax. assessment and development of French skills by establishments.

As of the 2025-2026 academic year, 80% of new non-Quebec enrollees in an English-speaking study program will have to reach level 5 orally according to the Quebec scale of levels of skills in French at the end of their undergraduate program, warns the minister.

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Without this, university funding will be further reduced, Minister Déry confirmed on Thursday.

My role is is to say: "You have a target, the funding will be conditional on this target, and we will obviously measure the francization activities from year to year, to ensure that&#x27 “in the end, we arrive at an acceptable level,” she explained on Midi info.

A joint working group between the Ministry of Higher Education and English-speaking universities will be set up in January. This committee will have the mandate to determine the terms and conditions relating to the evaluation of students and its impact on university financing.

An increase in tuition fees revised downwards. BROADCAST HERE PREMIÈRE.Midi info.

An increase in tuition fees revised downwards


Listen to the audio (An increase in tuition fees revised downwards. 10 minutes 50 seconds)

The demands imposed on Bishop's will also be relaxed due to the distinct demographic and linguistic situation of the university, located in the Sherbrooke district of Lennoxville.

The establishment will be authorized to welcome 825 Canadian students not residents of Quebec annually at the current rate – the same number as currently, Minister Déry said on Thursday. In addition, its financing will not be modulated according to the objective of Frenchifying 80% of new registrants for 2025-2026.

This turnaround The situation comes as Prime Minister Legault had promised, in the days following the October announcement, to make “no compromise” on the issue.

Several aspects of the Déry reform are, however, maintained. With the exception of French and Belgians, foreign students, for example, will have to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year to study in Quebec. And as expected, the new pricing is expected to take effect in fall 2024.

Promised on numerous occasions, the exception for French-speaking Canadian students outside Quebec does not appear in the letter Pascle Déry sent to the rectors on Thursday.

The new rules set by the minister nevertheless continue to displease McGill University, which fears in particular for the future of its famous Schulich School of Music.

Its leaders, who suspended a $50 million French-teaching program after the October announcement, summoned the press early this afternoon to [ask] the Prime Minister Legault to reverse his decision on tuition fees, which, they say, will have devastating effects.

The measures presented by the minister Déry Thursday are worse than those announced on October 13, for Quebec, for its universities in general and for McGill in particular, declared rector Deep Saini.

Rising tuition fees to $12,000 for Canadian students outside Quebec will make university degrees Quebecois the most expensive diplomas in Canada in most programs.

A quote from Deep Saini, rector of McGill University

Same story at Concordia. We have magnificent programs; Montreal is a magnificent city; but at some point, if the price is out of the market, we will have difficulty recruiting, argued its rector Graham Carr on Thursday.

Already , McGill and Concordia say they have seen a drop in admission applications of around 20% from students from the rest of Canada.

Bishop's, on the contrary, announced in a press release at the end of the morning that it welcomed this outcome, a positive result which would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the leaders of the Estrie community.

The only downside: the increased deduction that will be made by the government in tuition fees imposed on foreign students will result in a loss of revenue of $1.8 million for the establishment, underlined its principal and vice-chancellor. , Sébastien Lebel-Grenier.

Our Fans speak out on Minister Déry's new university funding policy.

Since October, the English-speaking universities of Quebec, which benefit the most from the current funding policy, have multiplied the proposals to convince the CAQ government to go back.

McGill, Concordia and Bishop's had, for example, submitted the idea that the increase in tuition fees imposed on Canadian students not resident in Quebec be modulated according to the different fields of study.

These universities had also offered to Frenchify 40% of their students so that they reached level 6 of the Quebec Scale, a threshold considered “ intermediate.”

Minister Déry nevertheless maintains in her Thursday letter that these measures would not have made it possible to correct the financial imbalance between the English-speaking and French-speaking networks, the objectives pursued by her reform being both linguistic and budgetary in nature. p>

The current situation results from a policy dictated by the liberal government of Philippe Couillard, who led Quebec from 2014 to 2018.

From 2019 to 2022, this notably enabled Quebec universities to garner $407 million in additional revenue thanks to tuition fees from international students.

However, McGill, Concordia and Bishop's alone collected 282 million of this envelope, compared to 47 million for the 10 establishments of the University of Quebec network, which supports the Legault government in his approach.

With information from The Canadian Press

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