Let’s not mince words: Quebec Premier François Legault wants to kill Montreal’s English universities. On Thursday the Quebec government announced that it will hike tuition for mostly English-speaking out-of-province students by 33 per cent and require that 80 per cent of students at McGill and Concordia become proficient in French at a “Level 5”, or the schools will lose funding. For most non-Francophone students, that will require the equivalent of another semester of study — a sure-fire reason not to apply.
Applications have already dropped by 20 per cent overall at McGill and by 33 per cent for international students at Concordia since the government floated the idea of doubling tuition in October. At the time, Legault said, “The number of English-speaking students threatens the survival of French.” Not exactly the best way to lay out the welcome mat.