News  News brief: International tuition hikes opposed

Int’l tuition hikes opposed

Over 30 students from different Quebec universities protested the provincial deregulation of international tuition outside of the Quebec City summit of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) on Friday.

Most participants were graduate students from the universities of Sherbrooke and Laval, according to Joel Pedneault, U2 Anthropology. SSMU bussed ten McGill students to Quebec City. Many students were from francophone countries, particularly Haiti and Senegal.

Speeches focused on French nations’ access to French education. “One student said he wouldn’t be able to come from his third-world country to the University of Sherbrooke if tuition was so high,” said Pedneault.

OIF aims to promote access to education in French speaking countries – particularly African ones, making the location of the protest particularly poignant. Accordingly, in theory the OIF should be opposed to economic barriers like tuition hikes.

But Pedneault said their speeches were heard by police rather than delegates of the conference.

“There were more police at one point than actual students – though that was because of the summit,” he said. “We had loudspeakers, but we don’t know if they heard us behind the barricade.”

– Erin Hale