The business community points once again to the importance of a substantial increase in university funding for the economic future of the city
Montréal, February 25, 2013 – As the Sommet sur l’enseignement supérieur takes place today and tomorrow, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pointing once again to the importance for the city of substantially increasing university funding.
“The Board of Trade is concerned about the limited attention being paid to the importance of universities to the future of the city in the current debate,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “And yet, Montréal is the university capital of Canada. It accounts for almost two thirds of Quebec’s university students and receives the largest share of research grants in the country. We cannot take this strength for granted, particularly given the statistics that show that we are losing ground to Toronto and Vancouver. Without strong universities, there is no innovation, no talent, no highly qualified and competitive labour and no scientific discoveries: these are all assets that have helped build Montréal’s reputation and that must be preserved.”
Since the February 2010 signature of the Pact for the Competitive Funding of our Universities, the Board of Trade has been active in the debate about university funding. Three years later, it is time for the government to find a solution to significantly increase funding immediately to compensate for estimated annual underfunding of some $800 million.
“We believe that at some point the solution will involve an increased and reasonable contribution from students to the cost of their own education,” Mr. Leblanc said. “And as we are seeing elsewhere in North America, tuition fees should vary depending on the university and the discipline, to better reflect the cost of education and the variable return on investment of a university education. There is increasing interest in the idea of tuition modulation, as the CROP survey results released this morning revealed.”
“A number of mechanisms have been proposed to ensure that this increase and modulation do not act as a barrier to education,” Michel Leblanc said. “The government has all the data it needs to make an informed, responsible decision in favour of strong, competitive universities. No matter the summit’s outcome, the government has a duty to strengthen our universities.”
The Pact for the Competitive Funding of our Universities and all of the Board of Trade’s position statements on university funding can be consulted at: http://www.btmm.qc.ca/en/salledepresse.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015
Pour poursuivre la discussion: #ccmmqcca