Quebec universities can expect to receive official directives from the provincial government regarding the reversal of the tuition fee increase, applied to student accounts at the beginning of the fall term, by the end of the week.
Concordia University has been awaiting formal instructions since Premier Pauline Marois announced last month that her government cancelled the tuition hike. The increase amounts to $254 per student for the academic year, assuming a student is attending university full-time.
Following Marois’ decision, the university stated that the tuition structure in place at the start of the term, which included the increase mandated by the outgoing Liberal government, would remained unchanged until further notice.
Joël Bouchard, spokesperson for Pierre Duchesne, the minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, confirmed with The Concordian last Thursday that an official letter, detailing the formal procedures to follow, would be sent out in a matter of days.
“We will confirm in writing the amount that will be charged and refunded and the document should arrive shortly,” said Bouchard.
Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota confirmed that as soon as the university receives formal instructions, students will be informed immediately.
“The minute we have the official notification, the tuition hike will be reversed,” she said. “As soon as we get those instructions, all of our students will receive an email. Everybody will be alerted to the fact that their accounts have been changed and what options will be open to them.”
Mota re-affirmed that students will be able to request a refund if there is a credit balance on their accounts and will also have the choice of crediting the amount to account for the following term.
McGill University spokesperson Julie Fortier confirmed that McGill is also waiting on formal directives in order to know what amount will be refunded and that students will also have similar options available to them.
Schubert Laforest, president of the Concordia Student Union, said that he hopes that because the university has had time to accommodate the tuition freeze, the transition will go smoothly.
“It would pain me to see students penalized because of an inability to cope with the situation appropriately,” said Laforest.