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Quebec’s planned tuition hike for out-of-province students draws criticism in Ottawa

OTTAWA — Quebec’s plan to nearly double tuition for out-of-province students beginning next year is being questioned by federal politicians and members of the business community.

The province announced Friday that tuition for students from other provinces will rise to $17,000 from $8,992 for the 2024-25 academic year, and the province will skim the first $20,000 paid by international students to be reinvested in French-language universities.

The changes would disproportionately affect the province’s English-language universities, which attract the most out-of-province and international students.

Quebec Premier François Legault defended the move today, saying the influx of English-speaking students is a danger to the survival of the French language, and Quebec taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize out-of-province students, many of whom do not stay after graduation.

The province says it pays $110 million per year covering the education of students from outside Quebec.

In Ottawa, Liberal ministers raised concerns about the signal sent by Quebec’s tuition plan and what it could mean for attracting talent and business to the province.

Meanwhile, the head of the Montreal chamber of commerce said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette that the hike could worsen the labour shortage and damage the city’s reputation as a university town.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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