Mr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec
Ms. Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education
The Table of University Partners (TPU) welcomes the initiative of the discussion on the future of the Quebec university, in the wake of the conference “The University of XXIe century: issues, challenges and prospective ”which was held at ACFAS in 2019. It is one of the rare large-scale reflection exercises bringing together members of the university community since the publication, in 1963, of the conclusions of the Royal Commission on Education in the Province of Quebec, the Parent report. We see in this initiative the opportunity to reaffirm that education is a priority of Quebec society and to support the public character of the university. We also believe that the time has come to rethink the university in the light of the social changes (demographic, cultural, economic, etc.) observed in recent decades and to take note of the challenges and technological developments that these years have brought us. bequeathed.
In the concept paper published on September 15, we note important contributions including those of increasing accessibility to university studies, promoting success for all, reaffirming academic freedom and university autonomy, ensuring stable funding and long-term academic institutions and to curb the competition they have been engaged in for several years. We also welcome the desire that has emerged to better promote research, to recognize the needs for continuing education and to bring universities closer to their communities. Finally, we endorse your conclusions regarding the urgency of creating a mechanism that would act as a depository and integrator of relevant data on the activity of establishments in order to offer an overall vision capable of supporting the development of public policies in this area. higher education. We are thinking in particular of collecting reliable information on program attendance and graduation, on research activities and on the services to the various communities provided by each institution. We also consider it essential to collect data on students and the various groups of staff: salaried students, support, technical and professional staff, lecturers, professors, management staff and executives.
We therefore wish to confirm our commitment to participate in the reflection and our desire to co-build the Quebec university of the future by proposing, in particular, elements that are currently absent from the reflection. First, we note that the very existence of staff who are not part of the faculty is obscured in the document and reflection. We also think that reflection should focus on the psychological distress experienced by students and staff and its sources, including job insecurity for several categories of staff and the precariousness of the entire system. We also think of the problems posed by the “race to performance”, as well as sexual violence, various forms of discrimination, etc., and the urgent need to stop them. Problems that existed long before the current health crisis we are experiencing and which new threats – some of which are identified in your report – are likely to exacerbate. Finally, we believe that the reflection should also be an opportunity to take stock of the aims of the internationalization of the Quebec university and to re-establish collegial management and to re-found it by including all the personnel.
Thus, considering the historical importance of the reflection to which we are invited to contribute, we believe that the consultation that you are conducting should not be carried out in haste and that it should lead to real exchanges. In this sense, the TPU will come out of the straitjacket imposed for the survey tool (10 questions – 2000 characters) and will submit a collective thesis. By revisiting the work of EGES 2018, this brief will put forward the consensuses shared by our organizations.
In all collaboration,
- Louise Briand, University Sector Vice-President, Federation of Professionals-CSN
- Hadrien Chénier-Marais, Interim President, Federation of Quebec University Student Associations in Continuing Education
- Claude Fortin, Interim President, Federation of Professional Staff of Universities and Research
- Jade Marcil, President, Quebec Student Union
- Carole Neill, President of the Provincial Council for the University Sector, Canadian Union of Public Employees
- Caroline Quesnel, President, National Federation of Teachers of Quebec-CSN
The TPU was formed in the mid-1990s. It brings together organizations representing students, support, technical and professional staff, lecturers and professors. The TPU offers a humanist vision of the university. You can read the manifesto published on November 25, 2010: For a free, accessible, democratic and public university. The manifesto’s proposals are still current.