Thursday, November 15, 2007

Increase in school fees in Quebec province

Nope, this is not going to be about books. I've been reading; however, no wowzer :( and no books that ask scream at me to be reviewed... so I didn't have much to say... till this evening.

This evening, I went to pick up my sister as usual; however, I got stuck in a street. Couldn't turn, couldn't back up, couldn't go forward. The cause? A student manifestation about the increase in school fees... I was a student a few years back, so I should feel sympathetic to the cause... instead, it just angers me sooo much! Let me give you some background... in the 60's, Quebec's government has frozen the school fees so they would not increase over the years... and so, they haven't for nearly 4 decades. On an average, a semester at any university in Quebec, for a Quebec resident, is 1,300$ CDN. This is the cheapest in Canada... hell, it's probably the cheapest in America!! What they plan is to increase the fees by 50$/semester for 5 years. Okay, at the end, it's going to be a total of 500$ and that'll be a bit under 2,000$/semester... and that's a lot for some ppl... I do understand that... but do you know what the students were manifesting about?!? What they wanted?

FREE SCHOOLING!!!

Okay, so now I'm going to contradict myself with some stuff I said in the past. In the past, I said that I felt that in America, we were buying our degrees. That because we were paying for our schooling, at the end, all you needed to do was pass your classes and you'd get your diploma. My complaint is that because we have to pay, I think that the quality of the education offered here is not as high as the countries with free schooling. Also, there is less competition in America... it should be considered as an advantage; however, because we know that we'll have our diploma at the end, we don't push ourselves as much. So that being said, I'm still realist... We are never going to get free schooling anywhere in America, Canada or Quebec. That makes manifesting for this cause useless and seriously, the students that were out there? Naive.

Even with the increase in fees, Quebec's universities will remain one of the most affordable and cheapest in Canada and America. Quit whining. Yes, it's going to cost you more... but the rest of Canada is already paying more NOW. Does that mean that Quebeckers won't be able to pay and make it, while the rest of Canada makes it? Are you saying that Quebeckers are this useless? I read an article earlier this year that said that Quebec and Canadian students were making approximately the same income and paid about the same rent and etc. So it just annoys me all the manifestations and revendications... and all their arguments. I don't think that more ppl will attend universities because of the free schooling. I mean, yes, those who can't afford it now will have a chance, but that doesn't mean universities are going to open their doors wide open. Similarly to Europe, there'll be more competition and you'll have to work real hard to stay in. So no, not more ppl will attend, just more ppl will have the chance...

So anyone has thoughts on this?

8 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I have thoughts *g* and it's going to get long. Of our two sons the only one who carried on after high school was the youngest. He went to college for 2 years here in the city and lived at home. Ron paid his tuition & I paid his books for the first year. By the second year he had saved enough money to pay for his own year. Then he was EXTREMELY lucky because he was hired by a company that was willing to pay for his university education. He takes classes on-line and at night so he can still work. He's going for his C.A. & then his MBA. He figures when he's done they will have paid over &60,000 - and I think I really low-balled that. But I know of other people who weren't so fortunate. Tuition here in Ontario is so high that they are still paying it off years and years later. I've heard cases where they can't afford a house because all their spare money is going to pay off their student loans. And while it may be starting to change, for a while, when students got out of school they couldn't find jobs in their fields and couldn't find jobs making decent wages for quite some time. I think student costs are outrageous and I think it's immoral that the government isn't doing more to help them. I've heard horror stories of students expected to pay hundreds of $'s for a particular professors own written book, only to use a chapter or two. So no offense to the students in Quebec, but they really need to open their eyes and realize what it's like in the province next door to them and probably the rest of the country.
    And now I'll step off my soapbox *g* but you hit a nerve. And worst of all, with each successive budget, they are still getting the shaft.

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  2. I went to uni on deferred fees. (It used to be free here, but it was eventually changed to deferred fees.) What that means is that I was charged tuition (very low at the time) which I didn't have to pay until I was earning money and my income was over a certain threshold. That was a great system for me ("was" because it's changed sine then). The deferred fees were charged at nominal interest (I think it was CPI aligned). The repayments were taken out of my pay, so I didn't even miss it. In some ways, this systems favours those who really want to excel because entry to university is at an equal footing. On the other hand, there's probably a lot of wastage where students who only went to uni to do the done thing drop out.

    Now student activism is another issue. I can certainly understand your irritation at what seems to be an impractical and unrealistic set of demands. This used to frustrate me, too, when I was at uni. While I admired the work that student activists did, everything had to be radical, and I could never understand why they couldn't be more conciliatory.

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  3. Oh......j'ai mon mot à dire...

    Pourquoi toujours avoir à comparer le Qc au reste du Canada? Nous avons la chance au Qc d'avoir justement les frais de scolarité les plus bas au Canada, voilà pourquoi des gens de l'extérieur viennent étudier à McGill par exemple. Le dégel n'est pas NÉCESSAIRE!!! Et c'est pas juste une question de 500$ de plus! Le Gouvernement PUNISSE les étudiants pour leur BUDGET MAL PLANNIFIER!!! En 2005, j'ai suivi la grève, car il allait NOUS COUPER à la Source de 103 Millions de dollars en prêts et bourses. Nous étions plus de 100 000 AU QUÉBEC à avoir manifesté! Pourquoi? Justement parce 100 000 étudiants dépendent de ses bourses et prêts pour faire leurs études.

    Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi par contre sur les extrémistes qui veulent la gratuité scolaire. Let's get real, not gonna happen. And seriously, they have been disturbing my Uni even though my department is not on strike. during the night of Monday to Tuesdays, they took over the school and protest. Cops were brought in because they had taken one teacher hostage, and bullied him, as well as bullying the security staff!!! I saw, with my very own eyes all the vandalism they did to classroom, to the hallways...Yo! La céramique par terre was taken off!!! Ils détruisent les biens pour lesquels ils revendiquent, now that IS STUPID AND DUMB! I am happy that it's over though, they could only go on strike for a week.

    By the way, les Gouvernements des autres provinces ne prône pas les services sociaux comme aux Qc...nous SOMMES différents des autres provinces. Les étudiants sont les personnes les plus pauvres au Qc, nous sommes la classe qui se fait le plus imposé, et là on peut comparer avec les Entreprises et la classe des riches qui se font moins imposer!

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  4. so, um, this may not be the place to admit that I work for a private U.S. university where the tuition alone is about $22,000 USD per year. And actually, that's about how much the uni I went to cost when I was in school too. :( yay, for eternal loans to pay off.

    I've always thought that Canadians had it awfully good.

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  5. My last year of university was 1992 around and it cost me 2100 bucks and that didn't include anything else like books.

    I went to Mac because it was close and I knew I was going to be paying for my education and there was no way I was going to be able to pay to go away. What blows my mind are the people who can't afford to go away to school and yet do and then complain about the loans they are still paying off. Uh, yeah. Go to your local uni dumbass.

    Ahem.

    I remember getting a call from Mac asking for help in paying tuitions costs for others. I was livid and asked why I would do this. I worked my butt off during university and had to pay my way the whole time. I didn't get anything for free. The person on the phone said 'wouldn't you like for others not to have to do what you did?' Uh, NO!! Not all of us had parents or others to pay for our schooling.

    I remember a prof giving one of my friends a hard time because they had to leave class early to go to work. He suggested that my friends priorities weren't right. Again, I was up in arms. This prof was ancient and yet to me he was completely stupid when it came to reality. Some of us have to work to get an education. Without one, we don't have access to the other. No priorities there. Just reality.

    And, I've gone off on a rant ;)

    Basically, that tuition is hardcore cheap!

    CindyS

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  6. I pay 1500$ for a semester, so 3000 per year, and I have to add about 1000 to 1800 in books per year, even when I buy most of them used. So far that adds up to 4 000-4800$. And yeah, I do go to my local uni! Not much choices here in Quebec!!!

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  7. Okay, I admit it... I'm a coward. i start this rant and just didn't dare answer the comments ^^;

    Sorry.... but hey, better too late than never.

    Kristie - Education is expensive and it's sad how expensive it is and has become. Your son is very lucky he found a company that was willing to pay for his university education... I know that in certain domains, that's what they do and it's a good idea.

    Kat - Deferred fees is actually a good idea in my opinion... that's what the students are trying to ask, although the government is refusing. I don't know, at this point, it seems like a dead end. The governement is going to increase the school fees no matter what.

    Vivou - there's no escape btw Quebec being compared to the rest of Canada because in the end, Quebec is still part of Canada. I agree with you that the government is not doing a good job at budegetting... but I also think that it's the fact that school fees have been frozen for so long. Later or sooner, it was going to catch up to us and it's now.

    Sula - I definitively don't know how the USA does it. 22,000$/year? ouch. Also, can you explain to me what is a state college? I know it's cheaper... but why?

    Cindy - that is soo sad for your friend. I know many teachers/parents don't understand it, the leaving to go to work.

    Anonymous - hey there :) I know and understand that 5000$/year, that's a lot of money... but don't you think that after all, we still have it easy?

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  8. 5000$ per year, think it's easy? You are probably one of those who don't pay for school yourself, still living at home with your parents, and have it easy.

    Do you know how much it costs to rent an appartment, to pay electric bills, to buy groceries and so on? I think not. Start adding up the numbers, and I tell you, being paid minimum wage doesn't allow you much! If you were suffering like most students are, you would understand how 50$ per semester screws the hell up when you can't even make rent. I work a full time job and I am a full time student, because I don't have any other way to pay for school. No partying, no drinking no wasting money on useless things. That is how I manage my budget...If I were to get sick, hell I'd be screwed!

    In Quebec, when you make 20 grand, you are under what they call " le seuil de pauvreté".

    So no, I don't think we have it easy.

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