You can picture yourself already. It’s fall, and there you are in Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona, Washington, or who knows where. For a semester, a year, or maybe longer. To get there however, there are many hoops to jump through, and one of the big ones is getting funding in place. This is the critical step at which a Québec student, having applied for provincial government loans and scholarships, ran into problems that led her to call on the Québec Ombudsman.
Québec’s Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) helps fund students on the condition that the foreign postsecondary institution they attend is recognized by the government of the country where it’s located. In this case, the student had chosen a New York institution duly recognized by the National New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education, two official American recognition-granting bodies. MELS, however, refused to consider her loan and scholarship applications on the grounds that the institution was not formally recognized.
The Québec Ombudsman’s investigation showed that the reason for the mix-up was simply that MELS’s list of recognition-granting bodies in the United States was out of date.
On updating its information, the Ministry realized that the two American recognition-granting bodies were duly qualified to grant accreditation and agreed to resume processing the student’s application.
Which goes to show that a little checking up can do a lot to get a project back on track!
The Québec Ombudsman investigates complaints and reports from individuals, groups, organizations or enterprises about a Québec government department or agency, or an institution in the health and social services network.