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Quebec, Canada Increases Tuition for Out of Province Students

This increase in fees could threaten the enrollment of McGill University's Schulich School of Music in Montreal


A proposed hike in tuition increases will make it difficult for the Schulich School of Music at Canada's McGill University to attract the best players, which could potentially put the existence of the school under threat.

The province of Quebec will impose a major increase in fees for students hailing from outside the province, bringing their tuition up to $17,000 — among the highest in the country. The school believes that once these increases come into place, it will lose between 20 and 80 percent of its enrollments.

As one of only three English-language universities in the area, McGill is more reliant on a steady intake of students from outside the province than its French-speaking counterparts. Nearly 40 percent of its undergraduates come from other provinces and territories.

"The consequences will be especially devastating for the Schulich School of Music," said Deep Saini, the principal of McGill. "[The fee hikes would] likely be cost-prohibitive for new students and will place the school in jeopardy."

"From the orchestral scene, [McGill] is the center of Canada," said Alexis Hauser, the conductor of the McGill Symphony Orchestra. "If this gets destroyed by tuition fees it would be so tragic and it would hurt Quebec."

"Why would they shoot themselves in the knee?" Hauser added. "I just don’t get it."

"In the time that I've been involved, the last 20 plus years, some of our great stars really that have developed have come from the rest of Canada," said Elizabeth Wirth, the chair of the Schulich School of Music. "We want to maintain being the best music school in Canada. We have to have a very open door."

"We'll work towards that whether we can do it with the government or not."

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