WORLD NEWS Quebec to raise out-of-province tuition to $12K, adds requirement...

Quebec to raise out-of-province tuition to $12K, adds requirement to learn French | Globalnews.ca

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The Quebec government is moving forward with its contentious plan to raise tuition for out-of-province students but also introduced a new French-language requirement.

Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry announced the latest measures Thursday on X, formerly known as Twitter. She published a letter sent to the province’s English-language universities, but did not respond for a request for comment.

The government will raise tuition to around $12,000 per year for out-of-province students — a 33 per cent increase from the current rate — starting in the 2024-2025 academic year. It’s a step back from the previous plan to charge $17,000.

But while the increase isn’t as steep as once expected, out-of-province students at McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s universities will have to learn French.

Under the new plan, 80 per cent of non-Quebec students in an English-language undergraduate program will have to have an intermediate Level 5 knowledge of spoken French by the end of their degree.

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In announcing the new measures, Déry says the government wants Canadian and foreign graduates to better integrate in Quebec society.

“We believe that these adjustments will allow the entire university network to fully play its role in the protection, promotion and enhancement of the French language in Quebec,” Déry said.

There are some exceptions for Bishop’s University, a small English-language university in the Eastern Townships. It will be able to charge the current tuition rate of $8,992 to 825 out-of-province students.

Bishop’s must also set out the same French-language requirement as its counterparts, but Déry says its funding won’t be contingent on meeting that target.

In a statement on its website, Bishop’s welcomed the “momentous news.” It also confirmed the exemption means there will be “no tuition increase” for Canadian students at its university — which make up nearly 30 per cent of its 2,900 students.

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“This is really part of our identity and it’s really part of the unique experience we offer our students,” said Bishop’s principal Sébastien Lebel-Grenier in a video posted to social media.

“So we’re very happy to welcome you on campus next year.”

with files from The Canadian Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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