Without housing, hundreds of students give up on Rimouski

Without housing, hundreds of students give up on Rimouski

University residences in Rimouski are filled to capacity.

Deprived of housing, more than 200 students admitted to the University of Quebec in Rimouski (UQAR) will not be able to move to the Lower Laurentian metropolis next fall, a problem for which there are “not many short-term solutions left”, denounces the university administration.

The housing shortage that prevails in Rimouski forces the UQAR Registrar's Office to warn its future students not to come at the next school year if they have not found a roof.

At the international level, we know that there are 200 to 400 students that we could welcome this fall, who will not be able to [come], for lack of accommodation, admits the director of community services UQAR student, Jean-François Ouellet.

“They are categorically advised not to fly. »

— Jean-François Ouellet, director of student community services at UQAR

However, the university maintains that it easily has the capacity to accommodate them in the classrooms. It is only housing that prevents the University from having this number of additional students, deplores Mr. Ouellet.

Jean-François Ouellet maintains that UQAR has received more than 15,000 applications for admission for the next school year. (File photo)

A situation which also deprives UQAR of additional income, given that it is financed according to its number of students, recalls the director .

During this time, the so-called “backup” solutions are no longer usable. Student residences at UQAR have been full since March – the same for those at Cégep de Rimouski, and the thirty or so units made available to UQAR for students arriving during the summer have already found takers.< /p>

More than 200 students, however, agreed to be transferred to the Lévis campus of UQAR, where the situation is not much rosier, recognizes Mr. Ouellet, but which makes it easier to find a home, given its proximity to Quebec City.

More than a hundred people who will probably not invest in the Rimouski labor market, adds Jean-François Ouellet. We are facing a demographic decline in the greater region we serve, he recalls.

The Rimouski campus of UQAR welcomed more than 2,500 students last fall, including at least 500 from abroad. (File photo)

This is yet another pitfall for the University, a victim both of its popularity, but also of the glaring lack of housing in the city ​​that houses it. Last year, more than a hundred students struggled to find accommodation a few weeks before the start of the school year in Bas-Saint-Laurent.

This housing shortage is “hampering” even the ambitions of UQAR, which is asking for help from Quebec and the City of Rimouski to speed up the construction of residential units.

< p class="e-p">At the University, we want things to move, argued Mr. Ouellet last April.

With the collaboration of Charles Alexandre Tisseyre and Maude Rivard