Term Paper: Reevaluation of Tuition Fees in Quebec State Canada

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¶ … Tuition Fees in Quebec State, Canada

Tuition represents the fee charged for educational instruction by formal institutions of learning. These educational institutions charge this fee in order to support financially the staff of the faculty, the lab equipment, computer systems, libraries, facility upkeep, by this managing to create an adequate learning environment.

Although tuition fees are charged in order to create a modern environment for students, tuition fees are anything but modern, as there are records of them being used in ancient times. In ancient times, teachers and philosophers offered their wisdom and knowledge to their students after a requested amount of money was paid by the students. One of these philosophers was Confucius, who actually supported himself by teaching. But this method was strongly criticized by other philosophers, such as Plato, who considered to be "unworthy to charge for the teaching which practically meant that the teacher should be either a person of means or employed by some benefactor."

In medieval times, European universities were institutions of the Catholic Church, therefore they mainly trained clergy and no fee was charged in exchange of the provided education. Such a reasoning was also applied by modern corporate universities and military academies. Later, in Russia and protestant countries, the universities' main objective was training future civil servants. Also in this case, charging a tuition fee was considered not to be in the state's best interest, as this would have decreased the quality of civil servants. However, due to high expenses of living during the years of study, typical families could not afford the education of their offsprings, even if education itself was free. Many Third World countries experience the same situation, a lot of children not being able to attend school (not even primary school) due to high additional expenses.

The situation changed after the World war II, when the enhanced standard of living and free university education in many countries allowed a great number of working-class youths to receive a degree.

Nowadays, the majority of developed countries follow a dual scheme for education: basic education (up to high school) is supported by taxes rather than tuition, while superior education is usually given for a fee or tuition.

Recently, students coming from families with lower incomes have been assisted through processes such as the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), allowing them to gain a college education through government subsidies. An important part of the tuition is supported through a financial aid package, generally a portfolio of federal, state, and private loans and grants. The rest of the tuition's amount is supported by the student's family. However, some believe that the expected family contributions are too high for middle-class families to afford.

Considering the level of the tuition, "the general trend has been towards marked increases in tuition. For example, Canada has seen its tuition fees more than double in the last ten years."

In Canada, education is a provincial responsibility, with many variations between the provinces. For example, provincial funding for Kindergarten varies widely. Started from grade one up to grade twelve, the access is publicly funded.

As far as the Canadian private universities are concerned, all of them have a religious history or foundation. Top universities in Canada find it difficult to compete with the private American powerhouses because of funding. Education receives about 7% of the GDP in Canada.

In Quebec the education system is governed by the Ministry of Education of Quebec (Ministere de L'education du Quebec). Quebec's educational system is different from the systems of English Canada.

In terms of private schools, "Quebec has the highest proportion of children going to private schools in North America." Weather they are part of the middle class, lower middle class or working class, families make efforts to save money and send their children to private schools. "The government of Quebec gives a pro rata subsidy for each child to any private school which meets its standards and follows its prescriptions, but the tuition remains very high." 17% of the high school population of Quebec attend a private high school. Even more, in Montreal and other urban centers 30% of the high school population attend a private high school. "A study released in August 2004 by the Quebec Ministry of Education revealed that, over the preceding five years, the private sector had grown by 12% while the public sector had shrunk 5.6%, with slightly steeper rate in the last year."

Post-secondary education is subsidized in Quebec, and the university education is considered to be having low costs. There are three levels of tuition: Quebec resident (lowest level), Out-of-province Canadian resident (tuition set to average Canadian tuition) and International tuition (highest level). For the Quebec resident tuition students have to meet particular residency requirements. Residents of Quebec have had seven consecutive tuition freezes since 1996/97.

Students returning to Canadian universities for undergraduate studies this fall will face greater increases in tuition than last year." The expected increase reaches on average 3.2%, almost twice than the previous academic year.

For the 2006/2007 academic year undergraduate students' tuition fee will reach on average $4,347 up from $4,211 for the previous year and triple than the tuition fee in 1990/1991.

According to Statistics Canada, for the past sixteen years tuition fees have increased at an annual average rate of 7.0%. In the 1990/1991 and 1991/1992 academic years tuition fees' level went up 15.2% and 16.5%, respectively. However, since 2000, the increase has slowed to an annual average of 3.9%. This trend reflects the government's moves to regulate fees. Average tuition fees between 1990/1991 and 2004/2005 increased faster than the inflation: tuition fees rose at an annual average rate of 7.7%, almost four times the average rate of inflation. For the 2006/2007 academic year tuition fees are rising in six provinces. Fees will remain almost at the same level as the previous academic year in Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, while in Quebec the increase is less than 1%. Tuition fees in Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Quebec will situate below national average. "Quebec undergrads will continue to pay the lowest fees in the country as a result of a tuition freeze for Quebec residents that have kept fees at less than half the national average since the late 1990s."

Tuition fees have doubled compared to 1990/1991 academic year and in some cases, they have more than tripled.

Professional fields will suffer the highest increases this year. The highest increases will occur for architecture and commerce students, although the most expensive programs are medicine and dentistry.

For architecture students the tuition fee will reach the average amount of $3,805, up 5.4% compared to the previous academic year. Commerce students' tuition fee will reach an average amount of $3,989, up 4.8%. Medicine tuition fee will reach $10,553 and dentistry tuition will reach $13,463, therefore being the leader of the highest tuition fees. For law students, the tuition fee will face an increase up to 4.6%, compared to the 65.4% rise in the past five years.

In the past five years large increases have been signaled in all professional fields. Average undergraduate fees have increased by 21.5%, while law, medicine and dentistry fees have increased by 65.4%, 47,5% and 41.5% respectively.

The tuition fee increase for students in graduate programs will be almost twice as high as the undergraduate tuition fee, 5.6% respectively, and will reach an average amount of $6,479. Graduate fees have increased up 44.1% in the past five years. The sole provinces know to have experienced tuition fee decreases for the past five years are Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

As concerns international students, their tuition fees will also suffer an increase up 4.1% higher than the previous academic year. Undergraduate tuition fees for international students 5.2% to $13,205, over three times higher than tuition fees for resident students. In Quebec the tuition fee for international students will increase up 2.5%.

Additional compulsory fees also vary from an institution to another. They include fees for recreation and athletics, student health services, student association and other fees for full-time Canadian students. These additional compulsory fees for undergraduates make up 12.5% of the total fees to be paid by a student to the institution. On a national level, additional compulsory fees will increase up 4.0% compared to the previous academic year. Undergraduate students will be charged for the additional compulsory fees $619 for the current academic year, while last year the charged amount was $595. The provinces where additional compulsory fees will decrease are British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Denis Herard, the Advanced Education Minister stated earlier this summer that "university and college tuition fees will rise at no more than the cost of living when an existing fee freeze ends." Herard also said that student groups must cut Alberta's annual fees by about $2,000 in order to make them the most affordable in the country. Linking tuition fees to the rate increase in the consumer price index is the effect of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Reevaluation of Tuition Fees in Quebec State Canada.  (2006, October 14).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/reevaluation-tuition-fees-quebec-state/1665

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"Reevaluation of Tuition Fees in Quebec State Canada."  Essaytown.com.  October 14, 2006.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/reevaluation-tuition-fees-quebec-state/1665.