FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, February 2, 2016
The Premier has the university community in his crosshairs, and the Quebec Student Union demands that the government cancel the planned cuts in the upcoming budget.
The Quebec Student Union was alarmed to discover in La Presse that the Couillard government plans not only to again slash university budgets, but also to impose a 25% increase in tuition for international students. The QSU demands that the Premier defend our universities and calls on the university community to mobilize.
The latest studies show these 30,000 international students annually invest the equivalent of a billion dollars in our economy. Moreover, it has been proven that this population leads to the creation of about 12,000 jobs in the province. This decision will decrease the amount of people that Quebec can attract internationally, and will damage the province’s economy.
“Universities already seeing significant declines in French student enrolment as a result of the increase to their tuition fees. We fear that this new increase, international students who might have chosen to study in Quebec will end up elsewhere,” said Bruno Belzile, from the graduate student association at Polytechnique (AECSP).
“Quebec continues to create two classes of universities, and once again regional universities will pay the price. Here, we are less equipped than urban areas to attract international students,” said Pier-Marc Corriveau, President of the student association at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (AGEUQAT) .
The Couillard government continues to hack away at our university system, which has already suffered more than its fair share of cuts, totalling 737 million since 2012.
“Imposing cuts to a network that’s already hanging on by a thread, it’s an ideological decision weighing on the backs of international students–it’s just unacceptable. Philippe Couillard said last week that the next budget would prioritize education, so we’d simply ask the Premier to take a step back and stop debilitating our university network,” said Nicolas Lavallée, from the student association at the University of Montreal (FAECUM).
The Quebec Student Union’s mission is to defend the rights and interests of the student community, its member associations, and their members, by promoting, protecting and improving the student condition and the condition of local and international communities. It has over 72,000 members across Quebec.
For information: Étienne Racine: Coordinator of associative affairs of the Project for the Student Movement (QSU)
Tel: 514 923-2349