Quebec announces stricter rules for non-subsidized private colleges
Radio-Canada reported on the proliferation of private, unsubsidized colleges in the Montreal area and the sudden increase in the number of Indian students who were promised immigration to Canada.
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The government of Quebec will launch a series of actions to better supervise the practices of non-subsidized private colleges and the recruitment of international students.
Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann said on Friday she wanted to correct “shortcomings” revealed by an administrative investigation following several media reports.
Radio-Canada notably reported on the proliferation of unsubsidized private colleges in the Montreal area and the sudden increase in the number of Indian students who were promised to immigrate to Canada.
According to McCann, the audits revealed questionable practices in terms of recruitment, business practices, governance and teaching conditions.
For example, she said, some colleges show significant discrepancies between the number of students reported to the ministry and the actual enrollment.
Recruitment agencies and firms, involved in the process of temporary immigration for education purposes, are fueling the confusion by using college names in their interactions with students. Also, international students, who are asked to pay several thousand dollars for a short and professional training in English, receive misleading information, according to the minister.
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The college certificates issued in English by private colleges do not include any notion of French, she added, before detailing the actions that will be taken by her government.
“The plan consists of a series of short, medium and long term measures to tighten the rules,” McCann said at a press conference in the National Assembly.
“These combined measures will allow us (…) to ensure that the services provided by our private colleges are for training purposes and (…) to protect international students,” she added.
Quebec will impose, among other things, a limit on the number of students at these private colleges, according to their capacity. This figure will be entered on the permits and will determine the number of students to be enrolled per establishment.
To ensure compliance with this obligation, a dedicated verification team will soon be set up. Inspectors will visit the site several times a year to analyze the operation and practices of the establishments.
Legislation on private education will also be strengthened, with, for example, regulatory changes to set additional fees for students to protect them.
The Quebec government is also studying the possibility of integrating notions of French into the school career of these foreign students, said McCann.