BM 62 – ESU resolution on tuition fees in Quebec
In many European countries, tuition fees are rising dramatically. We, students of all over Europe, are aware of the severe consequences for society implied by such a process, and we try at every level, from local universities to European level, to fight against it. But commodification of higher education doesn’t only concern Europe: all around the world, students and their unions campaign to protect higher education as a public good. We, too, believe that higher education has to be open and free.
For several months, Quebecois students and unions are illustrating that all around the world students defend a similar vision of higher education. In Quebec, the government of Jean Charest has decreed that the maximum level of fees that universities can charge will continuously be “unfrozen” and, thus, the maximum level of tuition fees will progressively increase by 1600 $ within only five years. This means that within ten years, fees would have been more than doubled. We, student representatives of all over Europe, hereby declare standing with the Quebecois movement. The government of Quebec which is currently still in power promised in 2007 to refreeze the maximum level of tuition fees in 2012. They didn’t keep their promise. For all these reasons, the Quebecois movement is deeply legitimate.
Social movement should not imply any use of violence, but at the same time governments have to take into serious account the expressed will of the students and must abstain from negligently increasing social tensions. In the past, the Quebecois unions have already proven able to achieve to stop tuition fee increases. ESU is confident they will manage to do so once more, as we are confident in students’ capacity to change rules and financing of higher education all around the world.