MONTREAL, May 15, 2018 – The Quebec Student Union (QSU) is outraged that the Minister of Higher Education, Hélène David, would take advantage of the summer break to announce a massive deregulation of tuition fees for international students as quietly as possible. It is unacceptable that it had to learn of the Minister’s plan to give universities the power to charge whatever they choose to these students through reports in the media. Tuition for international students is already deregulated in six disciplines, while those in the remaining disciplines pay on the order of $15,000 for their education—an amount that will quickly rise to whatever arbitrary rate universities now set.
The QSU staunchly opposes the Minister’s decision to treat international students as cash cows whose only role is to act as a bargaining chip in convincing certain university administrators to accept a new financing formula. The Minister ceded to the pressure exerted by these administrators and let them walk away as the big winners in these negotiations, granting them a major victory in one of their long-standing demands. The QSU is deeply disappointed to see the Minister renounce her responsibility towards international students in Quebec, and it is particularly concerned for the effect this deregulation will have on universities located outside of Quebec’s main urban areas.
By eliminating the funding given to institutions for international students, the government is explicitly encouraging universities to raise tuition fees in order to compensate for their lost revenues. There is a fundamental inconsistency in the government’s decision to allow a massive and unchecked increase in tuition fees for international students while simultaneously seeking to increase Quebec’s international profile. This sudden deregulation will only contribute to undermining the financial security of international students.
The Quebec Student Union and its member associations will be following this dossier very closely and will fight the Liberal Party of Quebec on this every step of the way.
“The Minister has decided to put the fox in charge of the henhouse. Her effort to appease university presidents by putting the financial security of students entirely in their hands is simply irresponsible,” said Guillaume Lecorps, President of the QSU.
“We are bitterly disappointed in the Minister’s cynical ploy to announce this deregulation during the summer break. This type of unilateral action is far from what we have come to expect from Minister David,” said Guillaume Lecorps.
About the Quebec Student Union
The Quebec Student Union’s mission is to defend the rights and interests of the student community, of its member associations, and of their members, by promoting, protecting, and ameliorating the conditions of students and those of local and international communities. It represents more than 79,000 university students from across Quebec.
SOURCE Quebec Student Union
For additional information: Alexandre Ducharme, Political Attaché for the QSU, (514) 497-2602, firstname.lastname@example.org