Tens of thousands of university and college students in Quebec skipped classes Thursday to protest tuition fee hikes in each of the next five years.
Early in the day, campuses in Montreal were all but deserted, The (Montreal) Gazette reported. The provincial Liberal government announced tuition would increase $325 each year for the next five years. By 2017, fees would rise from this year's $2,168 to $3,793, the newspaper said.
At least 165,000 students have registered with their student unions to boycott classes. Some teachers also support the protest, The Gazette said.
The Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association told its 1,200 members to exercise tolerance of student absences and to join the protest march if their schedules allowed.
Neither Concordia nor McGill University made any class scheduling changes, the report said.
Students planned to gather downtown in the afternoon and march to the office of Premier Jean Charest, organizers said.
It wasn't immediately clear if the boycott would extend through Friday.