Quebec PSE summit offering few details, says McGill principal

February 6, 2013

With Quebec's PSE summit approaching, McGill University principal Heather Munroe-Blum says there is still no sign of an agenda, guest list, or which proposals will be debated to solve the problems facing the province's universities. "I've attended two of the pre-summits and haven't seen any evidence of constructive proposals being put on the table to debate or discuss," Munroe-Blum says. But she is welcoming any effort "to get through this impasse which has us now deeply underfunded and has the university sector and importance of post-secondary education diminished in the eyes of the public. We really need a breakthrough." Munroe-Blum is pleased the idea of differential tuition has been raised and would like to see it debated at the summit. She prefers it to the idea of indexing tuition fees to the cost of living, which the PQ government seems to favour. Student groups remain opposed to both indexation and differentiation. Whatever new type of funding formula is eventually settled upon, Munroe-Blum says the bottom line is that universities need everyone who benefits to contribute a fair share according to their ability. Montreal Gazette