Monday, June 24, 2024

Quebec Perspective Scholarships: A Fake Good Idea?

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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One of her target programs has chosen the Perspective Québec Scholarships, which aim to attract more students into sectors with severe workforce shortages.

However, she made this decision without knowing that she would be eligible for this financial aid. I didn’t know not. I haven’t been toldNydia claims.

But the Ministry of Higher Education says it has been running a promotional campaign on social and traditional media since mid-December. However, given the few echoes that have reached her, Madeleine Saint-Germain doubts the effectiveness of this campaign.

No student has asked me about these scholarships. There is a lack of information transmitted. »

Quote from Madeleine Saint-Germain, guidance counselor at Collège Ahuntsic

She herself claims to have received little information about these scholarships. How will it work? Do you have to apply [pour en obtenir une]? we do not know.

The Quebec government website is no more accurate: the details, she says, will be selected later.

College and university networks under pressure

Guidance advisor Madeleine Saint-Germain does not believe the new scholarships from a Quebec perspective are an approach to achieving the government’s ambitious goals.

Photo: Radio Canada/Fanny Bossier MacNicol

Madeleine Saint-Germain is careful not to notice a rapid adaptation of the targeted programmes, especially at the university level, in accordance with the goals of the government.

She argues that there are many highly motivated students who have a profile to be social workers, psychologists or even psychiatrists who are interested in these programs. But the eligibility criteria are very high and there is no information that there will be more places in the programs targeted by the scholarships.

The University of Montreal, for example, maintains that it has only added places in its computer science collections, at least for now. However, it says it is ready to do so in other sectors, despite the challenges posed by the sudden increase in the number of students in some programmes. After that, it will be necessary to increase the number of teachers, assures spokesperson Genevieve O’Meara, which is difficult these days, as well as to ensure adequate in-house training for all.

The challenge it poseswork process The Québec, with graduation goals, says it’s pretty big at the college level President General Manager From the Cegeps Consortium. Indeed, hiring teachers in sectors where there is a shortage of labor is a complex matter.

In addition, it is necessary to organize and disseminate programs in such a way as to achieve the objectives. And it should be done everywhere in Quebec, continues Bernard Tremblay. It is therefore necessary to coordinate the entire network to ensure that supply can be accessed and demand is met.

It is a huge effort required in a fairly short time. Everyone is trying to spread the measures to have a tangible impact on the ground quickly, but it’s easier said than done! »

Quote from Bernard Tremblay, President and CEO of the Fédération des cégeps

Give Quebec Perspective

The Perspective Québec Scholarship will be awarded starting in fall 2022 to those selected from a list of targeted programs in education, early childhood education, engineering, information technology, as well as specific areas of health and social services. It will also come in handy for those who have already started their studies in these programmes.

$1,500 will be paid into CEGEP and $2,500 at the university for each successful full-time semester.

This pioneering measure will cost the Ministry of Higher Education $1.7 billion over five years out of a total investment of $3.9 billion for the entiretywork process It was launched last November by the Legault government.

Brown-haired young woman in black trench coat outdoors, smiling at the camera.

Nydia Fuentes-Cuevas can’t wait to start her career at school by becoming a nurse.

Photo: Radio Canada/Fanny Bossier MacNicol

A financial incentive has harmful effects?

Already about 20,000 students graduate each year from the programs targeted by the government underwork processAccording to figures compiled by Radio Canada. Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann is confident that these scholarships will do A strong incentive to motivate and accelerate graduation in the targeted fields.

But the question remains: Will these scholarships attract more students to the chosen programs? Nidya, assures that it will not affect her.

It’s motivating, but honestly, [ces bourses] I didn’t change my mind and pushed me to choose nursing. I made this choice because I want to help people, not for money. »

Quote from Nydia Fuentes-Cuevas, future student in Nursing Technologies

The same goes for young Adberrahmane Lakeal, whom he met upon leaving Ahuntsic College, who will also benefit from these scholarships since he went to university in computer science.

A young man stands outside Collège Ahuntsic.

Adberrahmane Lakeal dreamed of working in the IT field since he was very young.

Photo: Radio Canada/Fanny Bossier MacNicol

I’ll find out because it sounds fun. But for me, granted or not, it won’t change my choice. It’s been cemented into concrete since I was little: I want to study computer science! trust.

For its part, the head of the Guidance Counselors Guild of Quebec, Jose Landry, sounded the alarm.

It and its members say they are concerned about the lack of measures to support those who will benefit from this program so that they can make an informed decision.

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It’s an idea that might lead some people down the wrong path, you fear. A dangling financial incentive can cause people to make a decision perhaps too quickly, which can be detrimental to them. Are they really made for this area?

Nydia agrees: Scholarships can attract many more people who are looking for money than the field itself. They are sure to raise some doubt or confusion about what they really want to do in life.

In short, Josée Landry found that this ambitious program was rolled out very quickly.

It was created to meet the economic needs of Quebec, which is a good thing in itself. But we feel that people have been forgotten about. »

Quote from Jose Landry, President of the Guild of Guidance Counselors of Quebec
A blonde woman in a winter coat and glasses smiles at the camera.

Jose Landry, President of the Guild of Guidance Counselors of Quebec

Photo: Radio Canada/Fanny Bossier MacNicol

An ineffective procedure in the long run?

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) supports Perspective Québec scholarships, but with reservations.

She believes that it will be an effective measure of attraction in the short term, but she fears that it will not be effective in improving the retention of nurses in the health network, which is a serious problem.

Will these sums ensure that people stay in the health network afterwards? Answer: I do not believe. The working conditions of all healthcare professionals must be favorable so that our successors do not leave after a few years. »

Quote from Julie Bouchard, President of the Quebec Federation of Occupational Health

Vice President of the National Federation of Teachers of Quebec, Yves de Repentigny, agrees: Stock exchanges, in our opinion, are not a viable long-term solution. […]. The stimulus should not be given during the study, but rather afterwards.

Are the working conditions in which I will work worth committing to this project? This is the question people ask themselves before making such an important career choice, he says.

Based on her experience, guidance counselor Madeleine Saint-Germain also suspects that these scholarships will have the desired effect: This is not what will guarantee that I will persevere or not, I will get a diploma or not, in my opinion. It is a choice of the heart much more than just a financial choice to go into these areas of the future!

denounce contradictions

The list of programs targeted by Perspective Québec scholarships contains some inconsistencies, according to observers.

For example, to the surprise of many, the list of eligible programs for scholarships includes a Bachelor of Social Work, but not Worker Social.

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Yves de Repentigny struggles to understand this decision: The needs are also severe for technicians. So, what are the selection criteria for these programs? we do not know.

A petition has also been launched to include this college program in the scholarship program.

The risk of creating two classes of students

Yves de Repentigny describes the Perspective Québec Scholarships as fake good idea For another reason: he fears that the government will underestimate the value of studies in certain fields, which may cause a shortage of employment in other sectors.

It sends a message to young people: “It’s good to go to these programs; these other programs are less good.” It is a form of political interference which favors some deserving students in the eyes of the government over others who, however, are equally deserving of help. »

Quote from Yves de Repentigny, Vice President Responsible for Compiling CEGEPs at FNEEQ-CSN
A spokesman for the teachers' union in an interview with a journalist on Radio Canada.

Yves de Repentigny is Vice President of the National Federation of Quebec Teachers.

Photo: Radio Canada/Jack Racine

He feels that the government should have chosen instead more global and more global By targeting tuition review or improvement of the regular loan and grant program So that all students benefit regardless of the field of study.

The president of the Quebec Federation of University Professors, Jean Portuguese, has expressed concern about the government’s interference in the autonomy of universities and the risk that this scholarship program could lead to a demonization of character. worldwide Institutions of higher education.

He points out that some universities around the world, in Japan for example, have implemented similar measures, and this has led to the closure of some sectors of activity that are part of the so-called Humanitiesconsidered less useful by government, for example departments of philosophy, sociology or anthropology.

It is the university’s utilitarian vision. There are concerns that a two-speed university economy could create an imbalance in resources between majors and departments. »

Quote from Jean Portuguese, President of the Quebec Federation of University Professors (FQPPU)

Secretary Danielle McCann’s office wants to be reassured: this indicates that the creation of Perspective Québec Scholarships will not prevent students who wish to study in a field not covered by these scholarships from doing so.

He adds that these students will still be able to benefit from the Regular Program of Loans and Grants.

In collaboration with Daniel Boyle

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