Students saving nearly $1,500 a year thanks to 2012 strikes

A study has concluded that the student strike of 2012 has allowed full-time university students to save $1,465 annually.

The study, conducted by the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS) and obtained by the Presse Canadienne, suggests that if tuition hikes planned by the Charest government prior to the strike had been carried out, a full-time student would now be paying $3,793 for the academic year, rather than $2,328.

Study author Philippe Hurteau concludes it would be difficult to attribute that saving to anything other than the student strike of 2012, which was held to protest against tuition hikes and to increase access to higher education, and achieved both objectives.

“Afterwards there were, to be sure, more political, more social interpretations (of the strike),” he said. “And the (protest) movement went beyond the strike itself. … People wanted to question neo-liberalism and a lot of other things. But as far as the objectives of the strike are concerned, you cannot help but conclude it was a success.”

The question of tuition fees will be raised against this Thursday and Friday during the Rendez-vous national sur la main-d’oeuvre in Quebec City.

The Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce argues that tuition fees should be increased, noting in its brief that “Students do not sufficiently contribute to the cost of their education. Tuition fees are now indexed to the availability of revenue in Quebec households, which at least stabilizes their contribution to the financing of universities. But it remains insufficient.”