International students in six fields of study at French-language colleges and universities in Quebec outside of Greater Montreal will benefit from a considerable reduction in tuition fees by paying the same amount as Quebecers.
This represents a difference of approximately $21,000 per year in tuition fees per student, the average tuition fees paid by international students from Quebec with study permit from $24,000 to $3,000 per school year.
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As part of an initiative to attract international students to outlying regions of Quebec, provincial Immigration Minister Jean Boulet announced Thursday that international students who qualify for the program will also be allowed to work until at 20 hours a week.
International students from outlying regions of Quebec benefit from tuition fee relief
The respite granted to international students in Quebec is a strategy deployed by the French-speaking province to increase the number of immigrants in its outlying regions.
“I am very pleased to announce this new strategy which will have a great impact on the educational pursuits of immigrants and in their settlement in Quebec,” Boulet said in a statement in French.
“This is a victory for education in French and, therefore, ensures the long-term integration of these immigrants into our society and its values,” said the Minister responsible for the Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI).
“Our government is committed to working for a true regional immigration model and to fostering the vitality of our educational institutions, our economy and Québec society. It’s a win-win situation.
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To qualify for break-in tuition, foreign nationals must be full-time students at a college or university outside of Greater Montreal in Quebec in an eligible French language program in:
- computer science;
- Health care;
- social services;
- education, or;
- early childhood education.
The program will begin with the fall semester of this year and will cover that portion of the student’s tuition until graduation.
“This new strategy will further encourage international students to attend our educational institutions in outlying regions,” said Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann.
“It’s important to the continued vitality of our universities and colleges. It is also good news for Quebec society. These people will come to be trained and will be able to count on quality learning in stimulating environments.
Quebec is increasingly optimistic about immigration to its outlying regions, which generally retain far fewer new permanent residents.
The health and safety of temporary foreign workers in Quebec also gets a boost
Also in a bid to boost immigration to the regions, Quebec announced earlier this week that it would deploy health and safety inspectors to ensure the well-being temporary foreign workers across the region in six sectors of the economy.
“Temporary foreign workers no longer work only in agriculture. With the easing of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Government of Quebec needed to improve the health and safety resources available to temporary foreign workers and their employers,” said Boulet.
“The deployment of this team (of health and safety inspectors) will raise awareness in workplaces of the rights and obligations of workers and their employers.”
As part of this provincial initiative, the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du Québec, the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), will also provide advisory services employers of temporary foreign workers to help them meet their obligations.
“Temporary foreign workers are important in helping to meet the challenges posed by labor shortages and therefore it is essential that every effort is made to ensure that they are treated well,” said Boulet.
Quebec has had a squad of occupational health and safety inspectors for temporary foreign workers in the agricultural sector for three years, i.e. since 2019, because they then constituted the lion’s share of temporary foreign workers in the province.
This program, however, was seasonal.
Quebec deploys a squad in six sectors to protect temporary foreign workers
As part of the expanded version of the program, the new squad of health and safety inspectors, which will be fully operational next spring, will offer year-round services to several additional sectors in addition to agriculture, particularly :
- food processing, and;
- Health care.
Quebec sees temporary foreign workers as at least a partial solution to its massive labor shortages.
However, many of these foreign nationals are largely unaware of their rights and responsibilities under Quebec labor laws and the companies and non-profit organizations that employ them must be held accountable for providing the right working conditions and respecting provincial employment standards.
Inspectors will also offer personalized advice to employers to help them understand their responsibilities to temporary foreign workers.
“Temporary foreign workers are essential to the bio-food sector. They contribute to the economic growth of Quebec businesses,” declared the provincial Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne.
“I urge all of our producers, processors and fish harvesters to use all the tools this squad has at their disposal and join their workplace safety efforts with those of our government so that our temporary foreign workers can do their job with dignity. .”