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Quebec's third-largest English speaking university exempt from some new out-of-province rules

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Quebec's third-largest English speaking university, Bishop's University, wants students and families in Ontario to know it has been exempt from new tuition rules being implemented by their provincial government.

The new Quebec rules for the 2025-2026 school year require out-of-province students to pay a minimum of $12,000 in annual tuition – up from the current $9,000 minimum – and requires universities to make sure that 80 per cent of graduates have an intermediate knowledge of spoken French.

Bishop’s however was granted a partial exemption for its location and the demographics in Sherbrooke, Que.

The university will still have to hit the same francization rate as other English universities in the province but funding won't be tied to students reaching a level-five proficiency of French.

School officials said Thursday’s announcement by Quebec’s Minister of Higher Education Pascale Déry confirms Bishop’s University will continue to be able to welcome students from the rest of Canada at the current tuition of roughly $9,000 per year – subject to normal annual indexation.

“In other words, there will be no increase in tuition for students coming to Bishop’s from the rest of Canada,” said the university in a news release.

Far from hibernating for the winter, the Bishop’s University says its campus comes alive along with much of the reason taking advantage of what the season has to offer. (Supplied/Bishop's University)The University’s principal and vice-chancellor Sebastien Lebel-Grenier told CTV News that this is a good deal of their students come from elsewhere in Canada - including those in northern Ontario.

"Especially I think for a lot of people living in Northern Ontario - I think coming to Bishops makes a lot of sense because they're coming to a smaller university,” he said.

“We're about 2,600 students here and it's a very personalized environment with first year being essentially in residence for the vast majority of students."

Lebel-Grenier said the school owes a lot to municipal leaders in the eastern townships who petitioned the provincial government to give them that exemption.

“I want to express particular appreciation to the Francophone leaders who have come out unequivocally in support of Bishop’s,” he said.

“They were able to convince the Quebec government that we and the students we welcome to campus from the rest of Canada are not a threat to the French language but rather an essential part of what makes our region unique.”

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