French and Canadians students to pay same fees for education in Quebec
Posté par Pascal Petitjeanil y a 4 annéespas de commentaire
French students studying in Quebec have been paying the same tuition fees as their Quebec counterparts since 1978. But the gold rush years for the French are now over. In September 2015, French students studying in Quebec will have to pay the same fee as students from other Canadian provinces. Thus, a year of study will cost them 4,600 euros ($ 6,650) instead of 1,600 euros ($ 2,300) as is currently the case; but this is still below the cost of education for other foreign students in Quebec who pay between $ 12,000 CAD (€ 8,600) and $ 16,000 CAD (€ 11,500) per year.
The discount was granted to 12,000 French students (compared to 1000 Quebec students in France) costing $ 120 million to the Canadian government. But as the number of French youths attracted to quality higher education at a price often lower than they would have paid in France has grown, the government could no longer support the incessant budgetary increase. The new fees will allow an annual saving of € 21 million.
The Quebec Prime Minister Philippe Couillard recently met with French President François Hollande and the tripling of tuition fees for French students inevitably came up in the discussion. Hollande held that the agreement to increase tuition for French students in Quebec was a « good compromise », given the « budgetary constraints » of Quebec, a compromise « which is likely to ensure the sustainability of the presence of French students in Quebec.”
« I thought it was a good compromise. Of course I would have preferred that we were able to keep the 1978 agreement, but I can also understand that there are budgetary constraints, » said Hollande, who also said that « French students in the 2nd and 3rd cycles and those who are in the first cycle for the 2015-2016 academic year, will continue to have very favorable conditions. »
In Quebec, French students are not as understanding as their president and are disappointed with the decision that they consider penalizing. They hold that English-speaking students from other provinces come to enjoy the quality of life in Quebec and the low student fees; but then they go back to their provinces taking their newly acquired knowledge and skills with them, while many French students remain in Quebec.
The Minister of International Relations, Christine St-Pierre, believes that despite the new agreement « Quebec will remain a top destination for French students.”
The future will tell.
The increase applies only at university level. French students enrolled in a vocational training program still benefit from free education as well as Quebec students, under the agreement signed in 2001 between Quebec and France.