October 18th, 2023
Statement on behalf of the Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges, and Universities of Quebec
On October 13th, 2023, the Quebec government announced its intention to significantly increase the tuition fees paid by non-Quebec students studying at all universities.
Quebec’s three English universities — McGill, Concordia, and Bishop’s — will be hardest hit by these measures since they receive significantly higher numbers of out-of-province students than francophone universities.
The Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec is convinced that these changes will have serious and far-reaching consequences not only for Quebec’s higher education sector in the broadest sense, but also for Quebec’s economy, workforce development and international reputation.
The Consortium celebrates the ability of our member institutions to attract and embrace students of all horizons, and to offer world class education centered on excellence in teaching, research, and training.
We reject the implication that Bishop’s, Concordia and McGill, their students and generations of alumni are a threat to Quebec’s collective future.
The universities being targeted by these measures have proud, historic roots in Quebec. Bishop’s University was founded in 1843. McGill University, Montreal’s oldest university, was founded in 1821. Concordia University was founded in 1974, following the merger of two historic institutions, Loyola College, founded in 1896, and Sir George Williams University which originated in the evening classes offered by a YMCA Educational Program that began in 1851.
Graduates from these three universities have gone on to become leaders in finance, business, science, the arts, culture, and politics in Quebec and around the world.
Quebec’s university ecosystem, characterized by a blend of 19 distinguished French and English institutions, is a strategic asset for the province.
Our member institutions are committed to doing all they can to ensure that graduates have the skills they need to succeed and to stay in Quebec after their studies.
For English-language universities and colleges, this also means ensuring that we create pathways that enable our students to take pride and ownership of the French language and culture that make Quebec unique.
Global competition for the brightest minds is fierce. As labor shortages deepen, Quebec’s economic growth will be influenced by the ability of government and employers to attract, inspire, and retain post-secondary graduates. These new measures will threaten Quebec’s competitive edge and impoverish its intellectual life.
We are profoundly concerned that the government’s message to prospective out of province students is that they are not welcome in Quebec.
The Consortium remains committed, at the highest level of leadership, to working with the government, and our many partner organizations and stakeholders to deliver on our mandate of strengthening research and institutional capacity related to the retention, employment, and success of graduates from post-secondary institutions in Quebec.
About the Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges, and Universities of Quebec
The Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec is an alliance of nine post-secondary institutions in Quebec: Bishop’s University, Champlain Regional College, Concordia University, Dawson College, Heritage College, John Abbott College, Marianopolis College, McGill University, and Vanier College.
Established in 2019, the Consortium is mandated to strengthen research and institutional capacity related to the retention, employment, and success of English-speaking graduates from post-secondary institutions in Quebec.
For more information: www.consortiumquebec.ca