University Funding: One of Five Pressing Issues for Québec Society

MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - CREPUQ is pleased that the Québec government has recognized education and innovation as two of the three conditions for sustainable prosperity and has acknowledged the crucial role played by universities in Québec's economic, social and cultural development.

The university heads are also delighted that the government has identified university funding as one of the five pressing issues for Québec society.

University funding

"In announcing that tuition will increase in the fall of 2012, the government is calling upon the education partners to discuss the 'resources - from the standpoint of amounts, and funding sources and methods - to be devoted to university instruction.' CREPUQ intends to co-operate in every way with this meeting that will also deal with 'the performance and efficiency of the university network in the areas of teaching, research and management,' " said Daniel Zizian, President and Director General of CREPUQ.

"Among other things, CREPUQ hopes that this increase will be implemented in accordance with the underlying principles of the heads of Québec's universities: continued accessibility to university education, improvement in the quality of university teaching and research, higher attendance and success and an overall increase in enrollment.

"It is essential, for the future of Québec's universities that the government, students and private sector contribute to university funding in order to close the gap that exists between university funding in Québec and that observed in other provinces. The announced tuition increase should not cause the Québec government to reduce its investments in universities," Zizian said.

The universities will also endeavour to improve their administrative efficiency and productivity, as the Québec government is doing, within their spheres and responsibilities.

Research and innovation

"The government's announcement that it will update and extend the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy, especially during this time of cutbacks, is excellent news for the universities and society in general," added Heather Munroe-Blum, Chair of CREPUQ's Board of Directors and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. "The increase of $315 million over three years, boosting available funding for research and innovation to $1.1 billion, will support university research and innovation and enhance the international influence of our businesses and universities.

"Moreover, when making a single organization responsible for the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture, it must be certain that the organization adequately meets the needs of the three branches of the research community (social sciences, humanities and the arts; natural sciences and engineering; health). It is also important for the new organization to have an independent Board of Directors and that grants be allocated on the basis of scientific quality and a credible peer-review process," Munroe-Blum said.

CREPUQ includes all 18 Quebec universities. The organization acts as their voice in relations with government and higher education. It also fosters co-ordination and collaboration between universities, is a research centre for university administrations, acts as a centre for co-ordination and joint service delivery, and is a resource centre and think-tank for its members.

SOURCE CONFERENCE OF RECTORS AND PRINCIPALS OF QUEBEC UNIVERSITIES (CREPUQ)

For further information: For further information: Chantal Pouliot, Director of Communications, Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities, (514) 288-8524, ext. 244

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CONFERENCE OF RECTORS AND PRINCIPALS OF QUEBEC UNIVERSITIES (CREPUQ)

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