Students in education programs at Laval University have received confirmation that their study program no longer meets the requirements for the Persévérance scholarship. The scholarship, which has been awarding interns since fall 2019, has caused a lot of confusion over the past few days as the list of eligible programs quietly changed over the summer.
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A situation that the opposition condemned the day after the start of the school year.
“Changing the rules of the game in the middle of the match, that’s not done for me. The government should have a transitional measure and ensure that students who are already enrolled are not adversely affected. It is obvious that the students are the ones who are taking a hit, while we are in full inflation,” said the opposition’s official spokesperson for education, Marwah Rizqy.
“I can’t believe it, it really is a bureaucratic mess of the CAQ. It seems that the students are sent to get the A38 pass from Asterix’s madhouse and suddenly it’s not the right one anymore. I mean, it doesn’t make sense. There is a lack of communication, people plan their session and their budget in that way and in the week of the beginning of the school year we throw uncertainty on that”, adds the deputy of Québec Solidaire, Sol Zanetti.
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Moreover, it is also a surprise for the student and several others who are starting their internship this fall.
“I don’t have a scholarship, I don’t have any income this fall. We can do substitute work through our internship assignment, but we cannot work full time. So they cut off our scholarship at the last minute, without really noticing and no one really has the same speech on the subject,” sums up the future English teacher, Alexann Leblanc, who feels disappointed by the way in which the transition between perspective and persévérance is made. the scholarship has been awarded.
For the start of the 2022 academic year, the Perspective scholarship program will replace the Persévérance scholarship for programs that have disappeared from the list of programs eligible for the latter. The Perspective Scholarship awards multiple programs for each successful session.
On the other hand, some students believed they would benefit from two scholarships before the list of eligible programs changed.
The amounts awarded by the Perspektiva scholarship are less important than the Perseverance scholarship amount. Students also receive the full amount of the stipend at the end of the internship or semester instead of in two installments, including one in September, as provided for in the Persévérance scholarship. If the Perspektiva scholarship program is more favorable for new students who start their studies this semester, it is less favorable for those who finish their studies this year.
“Students can’t turn around and say to themselves: finally, I won’t get $3,900, I’ll get $2,500, but in a few months. They are now starting their practice and you should know that in education practice 4 is support. It’s real business. They can’t do their day jobs in classes, and they have evening jobs to meet their needs, they need this scholarship,” says Mrs. Rizqy.
“Really, the Perspective program is really super affordable because it’s $5,000 per school year, except it’s not affordable for people who are currently in their fourth year or who are currently in their 4th year of internship. For us, we didn’t have a scholarship in our winter 2022 session, we won’t have it this session either, it will only go until winter 2023 to get our scholarship,” student Alexann Leblanc illustrates.
Several programs are therefore experiencing negative impacts from this change in the scholarship program. This is especially the case with baccalaureate programs in nursing, social work, or social services, as well as master’s programs in education and social work or social service.
“It’s obviously an improvisation, it’s already back to school for the faculty network. In a few days it will be the beginning of the academic year, it is not normal for universities not to know what to expect with scholarship programs,” says Mrs. Rizqy.
The opposition condemns the government’s lack of communication and asks the Ministry of Higher Education to return the initial scholarship for students already in programs who should have received the Persévérance scholarship.
Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann defended herself in an email that it had always been very clear that the Perspective scholarship would replace the Perseverance scholarship, but professors believed their students would be eligible for both.
« Perspectives Québec scholarship […] yearly are much more favorable. In college it is $3,000 per year for two successful semesters, and in university it is $5,000. In addition, we will find a solution to keep the amount allocated to the former scholarship program for students graduating in the fall of 2022 who did not benefit from the Perspective Québec scholarship, to ensure an equal transition between the two programs,” she wrote.