Concordia’s student enrollment rising against provincial trend.
The province of Quebec is seeing a decrease in student university enrollment, but Concordia University is one of two schools witnessing exactly the opposite.
Jean-François Hamel, Concordia’s Senior Director of Financial Planning and Budget Services, credited part of this increase to the influx of international students.
“We have an advantage here in Montreal,” he said. “The proportion of international students is increasing from year to year.”
Montreal is an eclectic city whose bilingualism offers a broader number of students the chance to study in the province. Mary-Jo Barr, the university’s spokesperson pointed out that Concordia’s main language of instruction is an advantage. Concordia and McGill are the only universities in Quebec that offer English as the language of instruction.
“Many students choose to study in English, which gives us an advantage over francophone universities in Quebec,” she said.
In a social media poll conducted by The Concordian, only one out of 20 Concordia students asked whether language of instruction was critical in their decision to enroll said no.
Denis Cossette, Concordia’s Chief Financial Officer, also mentioned the increase of francophone students interested in getting an English education.
“Montreal has this advantage,” he said. “You can study here in English and live in French.”
The 2018 World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds placed Concordia University in the top 1.6 per cent among 26,000 universities globally. Concordia climbed 30 places from last year.
The increase in enrollment, especially of international students, has enhanced this new international placing. “It seems that there is a buzz for Concordia,” said Cossette. “Students are interested to come here.”
Being in Montreal, as Barr, Cossette, and Hamel all agree, is an advantage in itself. Living expenses in this city are more affordable to students, both local and international, when compared to other provinces that have English-speaking universities.
According to an online survey from expatistan.com, a website dedicated to comparing and contrasting prices between cities and countries, living expenses in Montreal are 11 per cent cheaper than that of Ottawa, and 22 per cent cheaper than Toronto.
“Montreal is a welcoming and affordable city that offers many advantages for those who want a complete university experience,” said Barr. “It’s culturally and linguistically diverse, and is seen as a place where students and graduates can prosper.” Montreal was voted as the best student city in North America, according to Quacquarelli Symonds.
Concordia is continuously being rewarded for its educational quality. According to Barr, the university is becoming increasingly known for its research.
“Concordia is a place where advances are being made in areas that have an important impact on society, including smart cities, health, artificial intelligence, engineering, and climate change,” she said.
Graphic by Ana Bilokin.