Some international students in Quebec are going to get a tuition discount. The province is extending the college and university tuition rate for residents to foreign students attending schools outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), the group of 82 municipalities including and surrounding the metropolis.
To be eligible, international students have to be enrolled full-time, in French, in a program designated by the government as a priority for the province's labour force. The idea is that the programs would feed in-demand sectors including health and social services, education, early childhood education and care, engineering, and information technology.
While an international student would regularly pay $24,000 a year in tuition to attend a Quebec university, under this program, eligible students would only pay $3,000 a year, the government said.
They'd pay nothing to attend a Quebec college in qualifying regions.
Je suis heureux de cet investissement de 80M$ pour que les \u00e9tudiants \u00e9trangers \u00e9tudient dans nos secteurs prioritaires en r\u00e9gion. C\u2019est gagnant pour favoriser leur int\u00e9gration en #fran\u00e7ais et pour la vitalit\u00e9 \u00e9conomique de tout le Qu\u00e9bec! #polqcpic.twitter.com/qWJPu90lLX— Jean Boulet (@Jean Boulet) 1652972449
In a press release, the provincial Ministry of Labour said the tuition reduction program aims to both fill a labour need and encourage immigration to the less urban regions. The "vast majority" of immigrants to Quebec, it said, settle in the Montreal area.
Labour Minister Jean Boulet called the move a "winning strategy to promote the learning of French and, consequently, to ensure a lasting integration into the values of our society."
The reduced tuition will come into effect in the fall of 2023.
Quebec has been trying to incentivize students to enter fields with acute labour needs. In January, it designated 233 relevant programs in which students would be eligible for special scholarships ranging from $9,000 to $20,000.