Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Perspective scholarships do not have the “wow effect” hoped for

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar26,2024

After the rector of the University of Montreal, other senior officials of the university and college network express reservations about the attractiveness and relevance of scholarships Perspective Québec studies. emergencies.jpg” media=”(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 1023px)”>

The Perspective scholarships do not have the 'wow effect' hoped for

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The nursing technique as well as the baccalaureate in nursing sciences are part of the programs targeted by the government which allow registered students to receive a scholarship studies after each successful full-time session.

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Radio-Canada has compiled the data available on admission applications in all CEGEPs as well as in the four universities which welcome the most students eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships, namely Laval University, the University of Sherbrooke, UQAM and the University of Montreal.

Observation? Despite this significant financial incentive, the hoped-for increase in demand did not occur in the programs targeted by the very generous aid measure. No significant jump in student enthusiasm has been observed since its implementation.

Thus, at college, the increase in requests for Admission to technical programs covered by scholarships, if real, is significantly lower than that measured for all technical programs. In short, there is no wow effect, as summarized by the CEO of the Fédération des cégeps, Bernard Tremblay.

The numbers are inconclusive. Of course, we are a little disappointed with the results at this stage. This is an expensive program and we were eager to see a major effect [materialize]. That doesn't seem to be the case.

A quote from Bernard Tremblay, CEO of the Fédération des cégeps

The four universities studied, for their part, experienced a drop in applications for admission to targeted programs, similar if not more pronounced than the general decline observed in all baccalaureate programs.

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Overall, since 2022, the performance of programs in engineering and information technology has been better than that of programs in education or health and social services, such as nursing.

There is no spectacular effect caused by the arrival of the Perspective Québec scholarships, recognizes Christine Hudon, vice-rector of studies and international relations at the University of Sherbrooke, drawing a conclusion similar to that of Daniel Jutras, the rector of the University of Montreal. She also reminds us that it is difficult to isolate the factors that influence fluctuations in admission applications.

Do [these scholarships] have the impact we wanted them to have? As we speak, no.

A quote from Christine Hudon, vice-rector for studies and international relations at the University of Sherbrooke

A certain demographic dip, but also the fact that students make their choice [of programs] based on their personal aspirations and not necessarily because of a financial incentive like the Perspective scholarships, partly explains this data, according to her. Not all students want to study engineering or social work, whether there are scholarships or not.

The Perspective Québec (PBPQ) scholarship program is a flagship measure of the Legault government's Opération main-d'oeuvre (OPMO), launched at the end of 2021. It allows all students registered in one of the programs studies targeted to receive, for each full-time session successfully completed, a scholarship of $1,500 at CEGEP and $2,500 at university.

The programs in question lead to employment in the fields of teaching, early childhood education, engineering, information technology or health and social services.

The program will cost $1.7 billion over five years. So far, 189,000 scholarships have been distributed for a total of nearly $400 million.

The three regional college admissions services have shared their most recent statistics and it is possible to conclude that there is generally a less significant increase in demand in the programs eligible for Perspective scholarships (+ 5%) than in all the techniques proposed at CEGEP since 2022 (+ 15%).

Moreover, engineering programs perform better than other targeted sectors and seem more attractive.

Sector Fall 2022 Fall 2023 Fall 2024 Variation 2022-2024
Teaching (special education) 2336 2188 2219 -5%
Genius (17 techniques) 2848 3162 3431 +20%
Information technologies (7 techniques) 5657 6075 5969 +6%
Health and social services (nursing, respiratory therapy) 4326 4045 4298 -1%
Childhood education 894 943 916 +2%
Total – Programs eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships 16061 16413 16833 +5%
Total – All techniques 38767 39537 44632 +15%

First round admission applications, for regular, non-international students

Source: Regional admission service of metropolitan Montreal (SRAM), Regional college admission service of Quebec (SRACQ), Regional admission service of CEGEPs of Saguenay Lac St-Jean (SRASL)

We have always been a little skeptical about the scope of the scholarships, confides Bernard Tremblay, of the Fédération des cégeps.

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Bernard Tremblay, president -general director of the Fédération des cégeps

When we see that a priori there is no effect that sets these programs apart from others, we have to ask ourselves questions.

A quote from Bernard Tremblay, CEO of the Fédération des cégeps


What are the motivating factors for choosing a degree program? What is the impact of a financial incentive? Should we review the conditions associated with the payment of this incentive? These are all questions that the government must address, according to Mr. Tremblay.

The latter is not ready to say at this point that the scholarships are useless, but he is of the opinion that adjustments are certainly to be made, the light of the figures which betray a particular lack of interest among students for programs rewarded with generous scholarships.

At the University of Sherbrooke, for the last two years, admission applications have been declining, both in the programs targeted by the scholarships and in all baccalaureate programs. Between 2023 and 2024, the declines were slightly greater in the targeted programs (-9%) than in all baccalaureate degrees (-7%).

The statistics are weighed down by a significant drop in applications for programs such as bachelor's degrees in preschool-primary education, secondary education, social work and even psychoeducation.

< th class="p-0 border-gray300 light:border-gray300 dark:border-gray700 border-b border-r border-solid text-left align-top relative bg-inherit">Variation between Fall 2023 and Fall 2024

Variation between Fall 2022 and Fall 2024
Programs eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships -10% -9%
All baccalaureate programs -11% -7%

Only applications from people likely to be eligible for the Perspective Québec scholarships are counted (people who do not have Canadian citizenship or permanent residence have been excluded). Data for 2024 updated on March 21, 2024

Source: University of Sherbrooke

Beyond these data, vice -rector Christine Hudon draws attention to another crucial issue: the reception capacity of targeted programs which has not changed with the arrival of the scholarships.

One thing is certain, there are programs where the number of places has not increased. Although we may give scholarships, that does not mean that at the end of this scholarship program we will have trained more psychologists, for example, she illustrates, while insisting on the fact that the Perspective scholarships are everything as well as welcome financial support for eligible students, especially in the current context of inflation.

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Christine Hudon assures that students ask questions about the Perspective Québec scholarships during open days at the University of Sherbrooke, but she does not know if this translates into applications for admission or if these scholarships are a determining factor in students’ choice of programs.

If students choose a program with limited admission capacity and if we cannot increase this intake capacity, ultimately there will not be more students enrolled and graduating.

A quote from Christine Hudon, vice-rector of studies and international relations at the University of Sherbrooke

Several factors ensure that the ability to reception is limited: a lack of space, limited internship places or even the difficulty of hiring additional staff, she explains.

These are points that have been worked on for years and which require major financial resources, especially the question of infrastructure development, explains the woman who nevertheless claims to have the ear of the Ministry of Higher Education on this subject.

The figures concerning applications for admission to UQAM are very fragmented, since admissions to the main programs in teaching and information technology are open until mid-April, or even early May.

However, we note a slight increase in applications to 2021 levels in programs such as the bachelor's and master's degrees in social work and the doctorate in psychology, with the exception of the bachelor's degree in sexology, which is experiencing its most significant drop in the last five years. .

In teaching, we note a stagnation in requests for baccalaureate degrees which lead to the teaching of dramatic arts, dance or even music as well as an increase in those in physical activity intervention. Admission applications and registrations in major programs, in preschool-primary education, secondary education and special education, experienced a significant plunge between 2022 and 2023.

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UQAM offers programs leading to jobs in three priority sectors identified by the government to counter the labor shortage work, namely education, information technologies as well as health and social services.

Jean Bélanger, the dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at UQAM, thinks that the Perspective scholarships will have a limited effect as long as the issue of working conditions has not clearly improved. Is this what will solve the shortage problem and double the number of students in our programs? No. Not if the profession isn't attractive, he says.

The government attacked several factors that did not directly concern it when it should have looked in its backyard first.

A quote from Jean Bélanger, dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at UQAM

Mr. Bélanger still believes that these scholarships are a good thing for the students who benefit from them, because they represent a form of free education for them. And he is not ready to assert that they have no effect on attractiveness. The decrease [in applications for admission and registrations] could have been worse if we had not had these scholarships.

The director of UQAM's communications department also indicates that the beneficial impact of the program for scholarship holders is indisputable and demonstrates great recognition of our [eligible] programs.

However, Jean Bélanger recognizes that the findings so far are disappointing, especially since he also doubts the effect of scholarships on perseverance or student success. The stock market is a means that has a relatively limited scope, he says. It has been shown that scholarships are not a predictor of success. Having a doctoral scholarship, for example, is not at all a factor that determines whether a student will complete their doctorate or not.

At Laval University, the Perspective scholarships are viewed very favorably. There is no doubt that these scholarships help to publicize eligible programs and that they seem to favor full-time study paths, we wrote to the communications department. They particularly seem to have a positive effect in engineering and information technologies.

If we look at the data shared with Radio-Canada, we still observe greater drops in the number of admission applications in programs eligible for scholarships than in bachelor's degrees not eligible for them.

< th class="p-0 border-gray300 light:border-gray300 dark:border-gray700 border-b border-r border-solid text-left align-top relative bg-inherit">
Variation between Fall 2022 and Fall 2024 Variation between Fall 2023 and Fall 2024< /th>
Programs eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships -12% – 6%
Baccalaureates not eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships -9% -3%

Only applications from people likely to be eligible for Perspective Québec scholarships (having expressed the intention to study full-time and having Canadian citizenship or permanent residence) are counted.

Source: Laval University

The Perspective Québec scholarships may partly explain increases or decreases in registrations, but it is difficult to confirm to what extent.

A quote from Direction des communications de l'Université Laval

Laval University adds that it is continuing its collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, in particular to explore the addition of eligible programs.

Since the launch of the program, several groups of students, notably those in technical fields excluded from scholarships and part-time students, have mobilized to also be eligible for this financial support.

Called to comment on the content of this report, the office of the Minister of Higher Education, Pascale Déry, responded that the Perspective Québec scholarships are part of a set of actions by our government to counter the labor shortage, particularly in health and education.

He adds that the program is recent and that the ministry is analyzing the first data compiled for all establishments.

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The Minister of Higher Education Pascale Déry will provide a preliminary assessment of the Perspectives Québec scholarships this spring.< /p>

The minister will present a preliminary assessment this spring and whether there are any adjustments to do, we will do them.

A quote from The office of the Minister of Higher Education, Pascale Déry

Note that several factors can influence the choice of training program, such as the dynamics of the labor market or the attractiveness of professions. We also believe that improving working conditions in the public sector will have the effect of making jobs in our networks more attractive, concludes the minister's office.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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