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Tuition fees: universities ;s anglophones make an offer

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The front of a McGill University building in October 2023 in Montreal. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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English-speaking universities in Quebec have made a proposal described as “enhanced” to the Legault government regarding tuition fee increases for new foreign students and from other Canadian provinces.

The provincial government announced on October 13 that Canadian students who will 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 $9,000. $ at present. Foreign students would have to pay $20,000 in tuition fees.

On November 6, Bishop's, Concordia and McGill universities presented a new offer to the CAQ government that proposes tuition fee increases based on different fields of study. They claim not to have had a response from the government regarding this offer.

Concretely, the proposal suggests that students in arts, sciences, education, nursing, psychology and agriculture – which represent 79% of students from outside Quebec – pay $9,000 in tuition fees.

At a press conference Saturday morning, Fabrice Labeau, first associate vice-principal at McGill University, indicated that fees for these programs in other provinces amount to approximately $6,000 per an.

In the English-speaking universities' proposal, engineering, computer science and business students would have to pay $14,000. This group represents 16% of Canadian students from outside Quebec at the universities concerned.

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For comparison, students at the universities of Toronto and British Columbia must pay $14,500 and nearly $8,000, respectively.

The highest level, which targets medical, dental, law and pharmacy students, would be $20,000, well into below tuition fees in other provinces, recognizes Mr. Labeau, who nevertheless emphasizes that they only represent 5% of their Canadian clientele originating from outside Quebec.

McGill, Concordia and Bishop'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 intend to implement 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 Level Scale. of French proficiency.

Anglophone universities say the provincial government's October announcement on potential increases is already having an impact on applications for admission of Canadian students from outside Quebec. McGill University reported that these fell by 20% compared to the same time last year, while Concordia University cited a decline of 16%.

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