Forgotten from the Quebec scholarship program

With a budget of $ 1.7 billion over four years, the Perspective Québec Scholarship Program focuses on five areas: education, childcare services, information technology, engineering, then health and social services.

Starting in the fall of 2022, a young college student in one of the government’s programs will receive $ 1,500 for each successful session.

At the university level, the amount increases to $ 2,500 per semester, which represents a total of $ 20,000 in scholarships at the end of a four-year bachelor’s degree. However, programs that various stakeholders consider key to the Quebec economy are excluded from this main stimulus.

This is the case of the inter-university master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. We wonder why we were expelledsays Augustin Gakwaya, a graduate of the Director of Aeronautical Engineering at the Laval University.

This exclusion is all the more surprising given that the Polytechnique Montreal bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering is on the list of eligible programs.

We are also part of the labor shortage! »

Quote from Augustin Gakwaya, a graduate of the Director of Aeronautical Engineering at Laval University

The Université Laval programs are excluded from Perspective Québec scholarships. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Alexandre DUVAL

Small space for science

The Perspective Québec Scholarship Program also raises concerns in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bioinformatics at Laval University.

Director Manon Couture notes that the government favors engineering programs at the expense of the basic sciences, even if they create important jobs. We live in a pandemicillustrates Mrs. Couture.

The need for research and development in Quebec is significant, albeit only for the detection of pathogens, the search for new means of combating pandemics, with means of combating infectionscontinues.

Only a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics is eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships in its department. It fears that this will discourage students from attending other, ineligible programs.

If so, the consequences will be felt in the labor market, Ms. Couture predicts.

The fact that there are potentially fewer students in certain programs will inevitably mean fewer graduates, so in a few years we may fear imbalances in sectors where there will be no scholarships. »

Quote from Manon Couture, Director of the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bioinformatics at Laval University

Priority

The Minister of Higher Education said in an interview that she was aware of these concerns. Danielle McCann assures her does not diminish the importance of the basic sciencesbut that it was necessary to prioritize engineering programs, among others, where there is a glaring shortage of staff.

We are aware that this is a balance. We had to start somewhere. »

Quote from Danielle McCann, Secretary of State

Regarding the absence of an inter-university master’s degree in aeronautical engineering on the list, Danielle McCann argues that it is more important to offer bachelor’s scholarships because it encourages graduates to enter the market quickly. insufficient number of employees.

Danielle McCann, Secretary of State.

Danielle McCann, Secretary of State

Photo: Facetime (screenshot)

However, the Minister does not rule out adjusting the list of eligible programs so that they are balanced some problems.

In addition, at the end of the day on Wednesday, Ms McCann announced her addition to several programs, including forest engineering and materials and metallurgical engineering. The exclusions also caused misunderstanding and dissatisfaction.

In fact, it will be all the engineering components that will be included in the Perspective Québec scholarshipsshe said.

Mobilization in CEGEP

Even in the network of universities, the list of eligible programs causes dissatisfaction. The petition on the National Assembly’s website has so far collected more than 7,800 signatures to make technology in social work part of the Perspective Québec scholarship program.

All the signals we are receiving indicate that there is a shortage of social work techniciansexplains Sylvain Montmarquette, President of the Association of Teachers of Social Work Colleges in Quebec.

According to him, the needs of these technicians are undeniable in community organizations, shelters, but also youth centers.

Unfortunately, Mr Montmarquette notes that students in social work technology are already considering moving to special education technology, which is one of the programs eligible for scholarships. This undermines their program choicehe said.

“For $ 3,000 a year, couldn’t I go into special education and continue my hilarious journey in counseling?” This is a discussion we participate in regularly. »

Quote from Sylvain Montmarquette, President of the Association of Teachers of Social Work Colleges in Quebec

In this context, Minister McCann confirms that the compilation of the list of eligible programs was carried out in co-operation with other ministries. The absence of a social work technique reflects the discussions she had with fellow Health and Social Services Delegate Lionel Carmant.

The people they hire to protect young people are graduates. It needs a high school diploma because there are reserved acts, summarizes Mrs. McCann. However, Mr Montmarquette disputes that argument.

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