MONTREAL, March 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In the current debate over the coming tuition fee increase, some basic and truly important facts are being forgotten, or are simply unknown. This results in a most incomplete picture of the current and future situation for university students.
Let us remember that close to $1 billion ($996 million) is already available to Quebec university students in the form of financial assistance.
That figure breaks down as follows:
* The Quebec Student Financial Assistance program, administered by the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport, accounts for $550 million. As tuition fees rise, so will this amount: every year, 35% of the revenues resulting from the tuition fee increase will be set aside for loans and bursaries. That will mean an additional $118 by 2017-18.
* The remaining $446 million in financial assistance comes in a variety of forms from the universities and their foundations, granting bodies and businesses. The type of assistance varies from one institution to the next, and includes the following:
|● Performance- and need-based scholarships, and other forms of assistance:||$83 M|
|● On-campus jobs reserved for students:||$156 M|
|● Guaranteed minimum income for graduate and post-graduate students:||$33 M|
|● Grants from granting bodies:||$58 M|
|● Research grants:||$38 M|
|● Employer-paid internships:||$78 M|
Clearly, access to a university education is a fundamental principle upheld by university rectors and principals in deepest agreement with the other members of the university community. It guides their daily actions and will remain a core concern over the years to come.
Under the circumstances, and taking advantage of the matching gift program set up by the government at their request, university chief administrators full intend, in the coming years, to step up their appeal to alumni, those involved in developing university programs, philanthropic organizations and businesses, in order to increase the amount of financial assistance available to students. The universities will also closely monitor changes in university enrolment and, if necessary, ask the government to adjust its financial assistance programs to maintain access to university studies.
Finally, as provided in the 2011-2012 Quebec budget, universities will allocate all additional revenues resulting from the tuition fee increase to improving teaching, research and student services, as agreed to under the partnership agreements to be signed with the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport.
President and Director General of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities
|Financial assistance for university students||Amount|
| Universities, university foundations, granting bodies, businesses:
• Performance- and need-based scholarships, and other forms of assistance
• On-campus jobs reserved for students
• Guaranteed minimum income for graduate and post-graduate students
• Grants from granting bodies
• Research grants
• Employer-paid internships
| $446 M
| Government Student Financial Assistance program (loans and bursaries)
• Current amount (2011-12)
|TOTAL financial assistance for university students in 2011-12||$996 M|
|Increase in the government program by 2017-18||$118 M|
|TOTAL financial assistance for university students in 2017-18|| $1,114 M
NOTE: Does not include increases in funding from universities, university foundations, granting bodies and businesses by 2017-18.
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