Moving Forward the Quebec Student Agenda

CREDIT: Globe&Mail – (MATHIEU BELANGER /REUTERS)

Quebec summit to decide future of university funding

The student protests in Quebec last spring have come to a formal close, but the issues left in their wake are still open for discussion. The Quebec summit, to be held in February, will feature Premier Pauline Marois and Minister of Higher Education Pierre Duchesne discussing the issues that are prevalent to students and educational institutions alike.

While the current standing of tuition fees is frozen (an action undertaken by the Parti Québécois), steps to move forward are still up in the air. More radical student groups are advocating for the elimination of student fees completely, “as proposed in the 1960s when Quebec’s modern postsecondary system was designed.”

It would seem, however, that this idea is simply out of consideration from any standpoint of logic. Quebec is currently enjoying the lowest tuition fees of any province in Canada (which is saying something, especially in comparison to equivalent American schools), and yet are the most ardent about creating a system under which everyone gets a free ride through post-secondary education.

The result of the tuition freeze has already started to be felt among some institutions who are supposedly short approximately $32 million currently. If the freeze is going to continue, and the Liberal Party of Quebec argues that the Parti Québécois has already decided it will, alternative funding is going to have to be considered to keep these institutions afloat.

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