Higher Education Minister of Quebec Discards Idea of Free Tuition

Just a month ahead of the Quebec ‘s post-secondary education summit, the higher education minister of the province has discarded the idea of free university tuition. Quebec’s Education Minister, Pierre Duchesne, admitted that several good ideas were floated during numerous meetings with students and university administrators, which were organized by the Parti Québécois after its election in September.

But, Duchesne clearly disregarded the idea of free university tuition, saying that it is “not an option” for the Quebec government, while alleging that the government is alternatively considering to index education fees to the cost of living. Duchesne described that “the good thing about this possibility is that there are different indexation models, some of which resemble a freeze, others which are indexed based on certain indicators.” Duchesne made a commitment to present a real solutions to reform tuition fees. He affirmed everyone to “don’t worry about it,” while assuring that “after the summit, decisions will be made, there will be work started and law projects tabled.”

The president of Quebec’s university student federation (FEUQ), Martine Desjardins, declared that quite a few people invited to the summit totally disagree with the PQ’s stance. Desjardins confirmed that “the consensus is clearly not around indexation.” She added that “even at the summit table with all of the people involved in the university milieu, we don’t hear the word ‘indexation’ except when it comes from the government.” Another umbrella group representing militant student associations, ASSÉ, also labeled minister’s decision of disregarding free tuition to be very disappointing.

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