PGSS holds unique conference for graduate student leaders from G13 universities

    MONTREAL, Feb. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - January 25-27 Montreal, QC - Over the
weekend of the 25th of January, the Post-Graduate Students' Society (PGSS) of
McGill University held a unique and significant conference at the McGill Grad
House, Thomson House. The Conference, called the "GG13" for "Graduate Group
13", aimed at bringing together representation from graduate student
associations from the 13 research intensive universities in Canada.
    Participants from eleven out of the thirteen universities attended the
two and a half day conference, which according to Vice-President External and
Governmental affairs, Roland Nassim, is an amazing turnout. "It was essential
that we get as much representation as possible, otherwise the conference
wouldn't have an impact. We were aiming for 13 but 11 is still quite
representative, especially, for a first meeting. The importance here is that
we were able to get people in one room that otherwise would not even have a
chance to meet all together at one time" says Nassim. "We were also delighted
that some of our colleagues from the non-G13 schools were able to join us for
the event and engage in the discussion" he adds.
    The conference GG13 focused on graduate students issues and graduate
education. Participants had the chance to discuss and debate on issues they
all have to face, ranging from graduate supervision, graduate funding, issue
related to intellectual property as well as student services. The GG13 program
also included a series of presentations including one by a representative on
behalf of the federal funding agencies as well as a panel of deans of graduate
    Aside from having people from across Canada join together in one room,
the goal from the conference was to shed some light on the major issues that
face graduate education in Canada at the present time. Having a group like the
GG13 meet and discuss these issues will certainly add more credibility to the
efforts that are currently being undertaken on all campuses to better improve
the quality and the competitiveness of graduate education. The PGSS is
currently working on a report on the proceedings of the conference, which will
highlight some of the points that were raised at the conference by the
graduate student associations. "Although the governments are the main players
in funding the education system, many of the decisions that affect the quality
of graduate education and graduate students are made at the institutions'
boards" states Nassim.
    The conference has gathered high support from the McGill Administration
and from McGill's school of graduate studies, as well from the various
administrators present at the conference. "The idea here is that if the
administration really helped us put this initiative together and promote it,
it simply cannot ignore the message that we are all forwarding to them.
They'll have to listen and work with us." adds Nassim. At the end of the
conference, some of the participants expressed their interest in holding the
conference in the future.
    The GG13 was supported financially by the PGSS, the McGill
Administration, and ASEQ (Alliance de Sante Etudiante du Quebec).

    The 13 research intensive universities in Canada are the following:
University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary,
Dalhousie University, Université Laval, McGill University, McMaster
University, Université de Montréal, University of Ottawa, Queen's University,
University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and University of Western

For further information:

For further information: Ms. Amy Cox (President, PGSS), (514) 836-8766;
Mr. Roland Nassim, Vice-President, External Affairs, PGSS, (514) 513-4210

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Post-Graduate Students' Society of McGill University (PGSS)

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