Quebec rejects English universities’ proposal

Both parties discussed tuition hikes and future plans for English-speaking universities

Photo Caroline Marsh

On Nov. 6, Concordia University president Graham Carr—along with Bishop’s University principal Sébastien Lebel-Grenier and McGill University principal Deep Sani—met with Premier François Legault and Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry.

They discussed the universities’ proposal to promote the French language on campus and the impact the new tuition hike policy would have on Concordia. The offer was rejected by the government, 12 hours after its presentation. 

According to a letter that Carr sent to students, Concordia, McGill and Bishop’s presented a tentative five point plan that English universities would implement for the integration of French on campus. The requirements include a mandatory French course for out-of-province students; the addition of “immersive internships in the region”; the implementation of more French and culture courses on campus; the organization of French and Quebec cultural activities; integration of programs in collaboration with businesses to promote integration in Quebec after graduation. 

In addition to the proposed changes, the university is asking for the government to exempt out-of-province students from the tuition hikes. Concordia is also considering, with help from Quebec universities, “an alternative to the government’s proposal concerning the financing for international students, so as to ensure that it is sustainable and equitable for the entire network.”

In the letter, Carr expressed his concern with the negative financial and cultural effects the government’s new tuition policy would have on Concordia.

In the proposal, there was no plan for the implementation of mandatory French courses for international students.