Francophone Universities in Canada
Canada, the second-largest country in the world, has a population of 37 million people. The country has two national languages: English and French. About 27% of the population has French as the first language. It is interesting to know that most of these people live in Quebec. Also, there is a great number of French-speaking people in neighboring areas such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
Though the majority of French-medium universities are situated exactly in Quebec, there are also three of them in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba: Université Sainte-Anne, Université de Moncton and Université de Saint-Boniface. Also, there is a francophone faculty within the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Though each of these universities has a great number of students enrolled, most of them came from French immersion, an optional primary and secondary school program that provides education in French, mainly for English-speaking students. The program was introduced in the 1970s. It is aimed to help English-speaking students in Canada to learn French language and become bilingual.
Most of the students of the program realize the importance and benefits of speaking two languages, as the ability to speak both English and French sharpens their employment prospects. However, both Saint-Boniface and Saint-Jean are under threat. As most of the students enrolled in the study are bilingual, they could easily trade for English-speaking universities. Moreover, such disciplines as medicine are not available at the French-speaking universities at all.
There are many Canadians who believe that the reputation of such institutions cannot be regained. Others question the need for French-language post-secondary institutions outside Quebec and New Brunswick. The fact is that though Canadian society is always considered to be bilingual and multicultural, the education in the country is mainly represented by English-speaking institutions.