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The idea that tuition fees need to be raised so that universities have the appropriate revenues to function is one typical of a neoliberal era. Neoliberalism refers to a social system in which the state plays a diminished role in ensuring that the basic needs of its citizens are met. Neoliberalism is characterized by public-private partnerships, the retreat of the welfare state (social programs such as Employment Insurance), the defunding and deregulation of state institutions, and the shift of service provision from state institutions to community organizations. Neoliberal social policy gives priority to a logic of the economy and cost saving. The decision to authorize the increase in tuition fees is, as such, a neoliberal policy in which the state plays a diminished role in funding postsecondary education in Qu├ębec.

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