McGill, Concordia universities sue Quebec government over 30 per cent tuition hike

Universities sue government

McGill University and Concordia University are suing the Quebec government over its decision to hike tuition for out-of-province students by about 30 per cent.

In separate lawsuits, the two Montreal universities say the government's decision constitutes discrimination under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the hikes have damaged the schools' reputations.

Tuition is set to rise to roughly $12,000 from about $9,000 for out-of-province students next fall, except for Quebec's only other English university — Bishop's — which was exempted because it is outside Montreal.

The Quebec government has defended the tuition hikes, saying that they were imposed, in part, because there are too many people who speak English in Montreal.

Both Concordia and McGill have said they’ve recorded significant drops in applications since Quebec announced the tuition hike in October and have warned it could trigger a steep drop in enrolment and devastate their finances.

The lawsuits are also challenging the government's new funding model for international students, under which the schools will be charged $20,000 for every foreign student admitted, with the money going to French-language universities.

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