A majority of Quebec universities have announced their intention to leave the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec, according to reports today in Quebec in Le Soleil, La Presse and Le Devoir newspapers. A spokesperson for CREPUQ confirmed that Université de Montréal and nine members of the Université du Québec network have informed the association they plan to leave by Oct. 30. Université Laval has already left the group.
In mid-April, the Quebec media, including the English-language Gazette, reported that Université Laval was leaving CREPUQ, the association of 18 member universities in the province. In interviews with Quebec media and on the Université Laval website, the rector of Université Laval, Denis Brière, said that CREPUQ was no longer responding to the needs of the university in representing its interests. In the interview, M. Brière also criticized CREPUQ for not reacting more strongly to the retroactive budget cuts that the Quebec government announced just before the higher education summit this past winter.
Two days later, the francophone media said that the Université de Montréal was considering leaving and would decide by the end of summer, quoting its rector Guy Breton.
This week, all but one of the 10 members of the Université du Québec network of universities told CREPUQ they intend to leave by this fall – all but the largest, the Université du Québec à Montréal. Nonetheless, CREPUQ’s 18 members, including those that are said to be dissatisfied with the provincial association, are still planning to attend a “day of reflection“ that CREPUQ had scheduled for its members in early June, said the CREPUQ spokesperson.
The Université du Québec network of universities was established by the Quebec government in 1968 to foster access to university education not only in Montreal but also in other regions of the province. The other universities in the province are autonomous charter universities that predate the UQ network: McGill, Concordia, Bishop’s, Sherbrooke, Laval and Montréal, as well as its two affiliated universities, HEC Montréal and École Polytechnique.