On Campus

Tuition hypocrisy in Quebec?

This Editorial in The McGill Tribune challenges an aspect of Quebec tuition policy which, I suspect, is relatively unknown in English Canada. An excerpt:

While the Tribune opposes complete deregulation of tuition, it does recognize that a Canadian education is still an affordable alternative when compared to international fees in countries like Britain (where international tuition can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $35,000 per year) or the United States.

What we don’t understand is the current exemption policy for French citizens, which lets them pay Quebec tuition rates. Quebec has not been a French territory since 1763. Currently, a student from a country halfway around the world pays lower tuition than one from Hawkesbury, Ontario (which sits on the other side of a two mile bridge that straddles the border with Quebec), irrespective of their fluency in French. The Quebec tuition rate is also available to some students from more than 40 other countires-including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Luxembourg, and Vietnam-under a similar policy. These are just some of the many mysteries of Quebec’s bizarre post-colonial relationship with France. These policies make even less sense when applied to Anglophone universities like McGill, where French students don’t enjoy the language advantage that they would at a Francophone institution.

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