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Negotiations between student reps and the government in Quebec City have hit a wall and the students are considering leaving.
Kevin, qatzelok, Tux, and 9 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
True, Spock. Nobody is surprised to hear that the government is still bargaining in bad faith.
As long as gubn’t says that they are only interested in “compromises” where the overall contribution students make doesn’t change, then what’s the point? Cancelling tuition tax credits to get a couple dollars of tuition does not really address the fundamental issues (although it does, to a small extend, further shift the burden towards international students).
ant6n, isn’t there an international students’ group that should have some say in this?
The fundamental issue is increasing funding for universities.
The question is: Who pays? The only options are a user-specific increase (ie. those who go to school) — or yet another general tax increase.
Or the government could just pull funding from some other supposedly essential service and hand it to schools. Bouchard did that in the ’90s and our highway overpasses collapsed, bridges crumbled, and we have a severe doctor shortage.
The Quebec government is handing over vast amounts of money to private industry for things like the Plan Nord and Anticosti. That kind of thing makes quibbling over a few million for the universities seem like the proverbial deck chair metaphor.
Universities have also plunged ahead making big untenable decisions and not been pulled up sharply enough – Concordia’s golden handshakes to failed administrators, UQÀM’s debacle with the Ilot Voyageur, the UdeM’s purchase and sale of buildings, junkets in high places, and lots more we probably never hear about. The students have some reasonable claim that if the universities were reviewed from top to bottom and teaching made a priority, they would not have to be squeezed for more cash, even if Quebec doesn’t increase its direct funding.
oh pu-leaze. The education funding is close to negligible compared to road spending (3 billion turcot pays 10 years of increases). And Bouchard didn’t “hand over” any money to the students in the 90ies, the province was just able to merely triple the tuition before the students went onto the barricades.
(and while we’re talking about international tuition, afaik in ’96 or so they started having different rates for out-of-province and international students, so that quebec students could keep their freeze – and after less than 20 years, they are almost a factor of 10 apart. So yeah, 10% increases every year really quickly add up, and putting proper limits makes sense so that tuition doesn’t get out of hand like everywhere else in north america.)
Hey, given my options, I’d rather no money be spent on a stupid arena that won’t make money, and we put more money into the Plan Nord which will get lots of people working at high-paying jobs.
And make no mistake — these will be very high paying jobs, because there are not enough skilled people in Quebec who know how to design mines. The few people in Quebec who do know how to do this are constantly getting offers from competitors, with bonuses that make the tuition increases look like spare change.
I’d also rather universities were better managed, with better oversight. By the same token, I think the notion of students setting the curriculum at certain schools is somewhat ludicrous.
After all, if the reason for getting an education is to benefit society, then society gets to direct what you study.
Arguments can be made that Plan Nord is an economic disaster. We’d be better off using those corporate subsidies to pay quebec workers to stay home. The resources we have will only increase in value over time. Why not hold onto our resources and sell them when we can make more profit then only taxing quebec workers. After paying the shareholders (most of which are non-canadians), royalty payments to the province are less then 5%. WTF. With the mess these companies leave behind it’s no wonder some protesters have been breaking windows.
Kate you forgot a 1.5 million dollar interest free loan so Concordia’s Chancellor could move up the Real Estate ladder. By the way his annual income is higher than the Prime Minister of Canada.
Plan Nord , even if it makes a 100,000 jobs , will destroy the country and the world. We already have one oil sands thanks.
A stubborn, aging population is consuming so much of everything that it is wrecking the system for the ones who are supposed to eventually pay taxes for that system.
Billions are misspent in this province on basically everything, sometimes deliberately through old boys networks and sometimes through typical bureaucratic egregiousness.
Banks voraciously suck up tremendous amounts of capital that could be used to start businesses and empower the young but instead burn it away on coke-fueled orgies of bad investments.
I as a citizen certainly don’t need 65 municpal councillors, 125 provincial MNAs and 413 members of parliament in ottawa to feel that i am being democratically represented.
Multiply those numbers by an exponential amount of staffers, aides, spokesmen, etc.
Sorry to have to be mr. radical on this.
Hamza seems to have elevated Jean Charest to the status of Bond supervillain. In a way, I suppose that’s quite a compliment.
@ Kevin: “After all, if the reason for getting an education is to benefit society, then society gets to direct what you study.”
If the reason you see a doctor is to make you healthy, should you get to direct which surgical procedures he performs?
No, you don’t. Same with university. If the outside world gets to decide “what people study,” we will never learn anything new. This would kill university, just like attaching courses to income-generation would. University is the search for knowledge and truth, and NOT for money. Commerce and Theft are for searching for money.
Since the state pays for roads, it should be able to decide when and where you can drive.
Use it or lose it. If you want educated, highly paid people to earn those tax dollars to pay for programs, you have to give them an incentive to stay in Quebec — otherwise they take their education and they go somewhere else with their ambition. And in a generation or two, when the province is bankrupt, some corporation will come along with a worse deal for local taxpayers, import skilled workers from the other side of the world*, and leave Quebec with nothing except a hole in the ground.
We agree that Montreal has way too many elected officials.
And no question money is misspent. The issue is that money always has been and always will be misspent.
If you want a free education, you should be prepared to accept some limitations. You can either accept those limitations on your course program or the quality of education.
If you want a degree in Philosophy — cool. Go for it. I won’t stop you. Unless you ask me to pay for it. Simply put, we’re too poor to have thousands of people studying subjects that have no benefit to anyone but themselves.
*If it makes fiscal sense to bring people from the Philippines to work at a McDonald’s in Sept-Iles…
Kevin says: if the reason for getting an education is to benefit society, then society gets to direct what you study.
I see. So if I want to study philosophy, I get no assistance, but if I want to study mining engineering, they’re all over me with grants?
This would just turn our universities into training camps for industry. Industry calls the shots – we need so many engineers, so many medics, so many lawyers over the next few years – so the government churns them out, and only the idle rich can afford to learn history, philosophy, art or music.
Very Spartan, and it will certainly crack a whip over anyone from a modest family that’s got ideas above their station.
But as qatzelok points out, not educating people in an open-ended way ends you up with a close-ended society, everyone’s a technician, nobody thinks a new thought or makes any effort that doesn’t put profit into an oligarch’s pocket.
I know several people who got philosophy degrees that went on to study law, or finished there and went into various kinds of useful jobs. University should teach you to think, not just where to look things up. It’s not something you can impart by making people memorize things and parrot them out, but something you have to show them as a process, to observe critically, to question their own assumptions. We can’t afford not to have that.
Consider how Stephen Harper fears knowledge and inquiry and makes efforts to stifle them, and why. Do you want to do this work for him?
@Kevin Right, because philosophy has had no useful impact on society. *eyeroll* What, only doctors, lawyers and engineers are useful because these are the careers currently highly valued by society? “Society” gets to decide what students study, therefore you’re saying students aren’t part of “society” and they get no say in the direction it moves?
Our society is incredibly wasteful. If we re-prioritized, focused on issues of quality of life and human welfare before we focused on economic issues we could achieve a stable economy with perhaps fewer million and billion dollar deals, fewer people getting outlandishly rich, but with better services and social safety nets for everyone…
Frankly, I’m starting to think Huey P. Long was right – no one person should have a fortune larger than a few million. Beyond that, wealth ought to be redistributed and used to make a better quality of life for everyone. Call me a radical, I think it’s time to re-think capitalism – it is not serving us well and there’s no reason to think it ever will.
@ Kevin: “If you want a free education, you should be prepared to accept some limitations. You can either accept those limitations on your course program or the quality of education. ”
All other animals get a free education – from their parents/siblings/instincts – that is all they need to survive and thrive. Humans are NO LONGER ALLOWED to live naturally, so the state which forces them to live UNNATURALLY has to give them a free education. Otherwise, the State is keeping its citizens hostage in a fake reality and forcing them to “earn” the education they would get for free in nature.
If society is just a scam, then we should just do away with it altogether.
Have none of you been to university? A major is 45 credits, which leaves you 45 credits to study whatever you want.
I did a 60 credit specialization which left me 30 credits for anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, economics, literature and other topics. And in all of those topics which interested me personally, I was in class with countless people who showed no interest in the topic, but were only there because it was a requirement.
I agree wholeheartedly that university and CEGEP should make you think, but I also acknowledge that many people are total boneheads and others are only in school to get a job.
It is not offensive to say that some people just aren’t capable of thinking big thoughts, just like others aren’t not capable of running very fast or performing exquisitely complex operations.
And in a way, what Kate says is right: some topics are only studied by the idle rich because only they have the leisure to study them. The dilemma is how to enrichen our heavily indebted society so that everyone with the desire and aptitude can be uplifted. We also as a society need to convince people that learning is worthwhile for its own sake.
Cheap tuition has so far failed to do this.
I see people living a natural life every day. But mot of us stopped living naturally about 10,000 years ago.
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