Investing in Higher Education:
A Promising Start
Montreal, December 13, 2006 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal was pleased to hear today's announcement by Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Education, Leisure and Sport, Jean-Marc Fournier of a $320 million investment in post-secondary institutions.
While this investment is a first step toward upgrading the operating resources of our institutions of higher learning, particularly those of Quebec universities, much still remains to be done. Their chronic underfunding is of great concern given that knowledge and talent have become essential prerequisites to wealth creation, said Board of Trade chief executive Isabelle Hudon.
Montreal's network of universities and world-class institutions of higher education is certainly one of its greatest assets and one on which much of its development relies. In fact, Montreal leads the country in university research.
We must exercise leadership and creativity in providing our institutions with the leeway and financial means they need to attract top professors, researchers and students so that Montreal can hold on to its lead. But this can only happen if everyone does their partthe government by significantly boosting the amount it invests in higher education, the business community by making a greater financialcontribution, and students, by paying higher tuition. In the latter case, a portion of the fees collected should be allocated to the government's student financial assistance program to ensure access to less privileged students, added Isabelle Hudon.
Because it plays a direct role in creating an innovative and productive business environment, our network of higher education and advanced research should be able to count on the funds it needs to ensure its full development. And we can all do our part to ensure a predictable and appropriate level of funding for this sector by putting our nose to the grindstone and enlisting the participation of all the stakeholders.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015