Quebec is one of the best places for post-secondary education value, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The report shows that students in Quebec pay some of the lowest tuition fees across the country, and therefore have to work fewer hours to afford their post-secondary education.
The number of work hours needed to pay off tuition was measured against minimum wage rates across the country. Analysts found that students in Quebec had to work 266 minimum-wage hours to pay for their schooling – much lower than the national average of 570 minimum-wage hours.
Furthermore, Quebec’s overall fee increases were among the lowest across the country – a mere 25 percent increase since 1975. Again, the national average was much higher with a 148 percent increase in tuition fees over that same time period. Alberta reported over 225 percent increase since 1975.
Experts say that these figures reflect the importance of student engagement at the political level. Quebec students have often been in the news of late for their public protests against tuition hikes – and those protests appear to be working.
Critics, however, say that the figures presented in this study are misleading – particularly in not taking into account major factors like inflation and financial aid.
CCPA economist Armine Yalnizyan, on the other hand, argues that the data paints an informative picture of the various costs of post-secondary education and at the end of the day, students still have to find ways to pay for their schooling – be it a job, financial aid, or scholarships.
The report shows that Ontario is the most expensive province for post-secondary education with students, on average, having to work 708 minimum-wage hours.
Source: Montreal Gazette