Any fees for tuition?

When I hear the word tuition it makes my flesh crawl. Keeping this feeling deep in my heart, I have closely been following updates from the Quebec uprising.

“Quebec students mark 100 days of tuition protests,” reports AP

Tens of thousands of students marched through the streets of Montreal on Tuesday to mark 100 days since the movement against higher tuition fees began…The conflict has caused considerable social upheaval in the French-speaking province known for having more contentious protests than elsewhere in Canada.Retiree Claude Gravel, 61, said she was against the law seeking to calm down tensions after 100 days of protests…She said the tuition hikes would make educating her college student son hard on the family’s limited finances.

“Quebec students reject latest government offer to cut tuition fees,” states

The government had already lowered the yearly increase, by offering to spread it out over seven years for an annual jump of $254, a move previously rejected by students.

Education Minister Michelle Courchesne’s new proposal would have reduced the yearly hike to $219 over seven years.   The original increase, which kicked off the dispute in February, was for $325 a year over five years — a move that would bring annual fees to about $3,800 in 2017.

At first I was sure that the very reason for the mass disobedience was a notorious tuitions, which were promised to be raised during the following five-seven years — up to 75% hike in tuition all together. Having painful experience of paying tuitions back, I felt I could have been one of those students, defending their right for affordable education.

Then came that second thought that people usually feel afterwords. Nah, I didn’t do something for which that “second thought” would be kicking me. Apparently, it was all about my inner I who sent the second thought to my brain warning me to compare tuitions in Quebec, the province of revolt, with tuitions in, say, Ontario, which is a relatively calm place to study. At that point in my pondering I couldn’t draw a picture of what a shocking discovery awaits me as I progressed in my research.

In order to visualize the problem I decided to visit the web sites of universities in English-speaking provinces, and universities in Quebec. The following is my findings. 

English-language universities in Quebec:

1. McGill University

2. Concordia University

English-language universities in Ontario:

1. York University

2. University of Saskatchewan

The tacitly confirms my calculations,

[t]uition fees in Quebec will increase by $325 more every year for the next five years, starting in the Fall semester of 2012 going until 2016-2017. The total tuition bill, including mandatory institutional fees, will go from $2,890 to $4,700 per year.

In other words, the proposed rise in tuition in Quebec during the next 5-7 years is far incomparable with the current tuitions Canadians pay in for their studying in other provinces. As a case in point, the studying in Quebec is about three times chipper (per credit) than in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and, I assume, rest of Canadian provinces.

Revolution in Quebec has been rendered — it’s a universal fact. In hindsight, is a tuition hike was really the reason caused for all that mess created in the province? Did the organizers of the mass disobedience plan what we are seeing now on the streets, or their initial good intention spin out of control? Anyway, it has turned out that the current uprising goes beyond the scope of tuition, and riches large sections of the public not only in Quebec but also in the rest of the country.
~bold is mine~

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