Montréal, métropole universitaire: The Montréal community shows support and expresses concern for its universities

The two spokesperson of Montréal, métropole universitaire forum, Michel Leblanc and Louise Roy, accompanied by the nine leaders of Montreal's universities. (CNW Group/Les universités de Montréal)

MONTREAL, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Close to 500 cultural, social, economic, academic and political decision-makers came together today for the Montréal, métropole universitaire forum. Organized by the city's nine universities in collaboration with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, this event was meant to add to the debate surrounding the Sommet sur l'enseignement supérieur. This was the first time that the nine Montréal universities organized, jointly, such an event.

"Our universities are part of Montréal's DNA. They contribute a great deal to its prosperity, international reputation and cultural vitality. Today's forum has allowed leaders from different sectors of the Montréal community to share their expectations and show their commitment to the city's universities. However, these institutions are also concerned that Montréal may lose its status as a university metropolis and that they may no longer be getting the support they need," explained Louise Roy, Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Directors of Université de Montréal and co-spokesperson for the event.

"Although people often forget this, Montréal is the university capital of Canada. Nearly two thirds of all university students in Québec go to school here, and Montréal receives the largest share of the country's research funding. We cannot take this strength for granted. We must preserve these assets. Without strong universities, we will lose out on innovation, talent, a highly qualified and competitive labour force, and scientific discoveries," stressed Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and co-spokesperson for the forum.

"The city's future depends on strong, well-supported universities that provide high-quality teaching and research—in other words universities of the 21st century. We hope that today's discussions will be considered during the Sommet sur l'enseignement supérieur," concluded both co-spokespeople for the event.

Over 184,000 students are enrolled at a Montréal university, a number that represents 65% of all Québec university students. Out of this number, more than 25,000 are international students. Montréal universities award over 43,000 degrees each year, which gives the city the largest pool of graduates in the country.

To close the forum, the nine leaders of Montréal's university institutions thanked the participants for their support. They also made a commitment to keep this dialogue open with the community.

Montréal's nine universities include the École de technologie supérieure, École nationale d'administration publique, Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, and McGill University.

Image with caption: "The two spokesperson of Montréal, métropole universitaire forum, Michel Leblanc and Louise Roy, accompanied by the nine leaders of Montreal's universities. (CNW Group/Les universités de Montréal)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130204_C2939_PHOTO_EN_23301.jpg

SOURCE: Les universités de Montréal

For further information:

David Barrett
CASACOM
514 286-2145, ext. 224 or dbarrett@casacom.ca

Martine Venne
CASACOM
514 286-2145, ext. 228 or mvenne@casacom.ca