A word from FGM – September 2023

Three years ago, in launching this newsletter, we tackled the issue of education. More specifically, we looked at the factors supporting – or impeding – youth staying in school. The pandemic had at that point just disrupted that year’s return to class. Needless to say, the pandemic subsequently made things worse. More recently, labour shortages in multiple sectors have been an incentive for even more teenagers to drop out of school. As a society, we still have a long way to go in providing all elementary and high school students with the tools they need to succeed and obtain a diploma or other qualification.

2020 also saw a sharp decline in the number of university degrees obtained in Quebec. This was especially true with regards to graduate studies and the research sector. Many students dropped out. Since the pandemic, the number of students registered is down in most Montreal universities. The most vulnerable students were naturally the hardest hit by the pandemic’s repercussions, for instance, those who are also parents. In short, there is no time like the present to come to the aid of the young and the not-so-young who hunger to learn, broaden their horizons or upgrade their skills in their field. Scholarships and bursaries are one way to do so.

The importance of access

Not everyone needs higher education in order to secure a fulfilling career and lead a rewarding life. Many other options are available. But it is in our collective interest to make sure that every person who has the capacity and the desire to go to university can do so. Substantial progress has been made over the past few decades. But in 2023 still, socioprofessional background and family income still play a major part in determining access to higher education. As well, student debt obviously looms larger when one is from a less well-off family.

Public funding under the form of student loans or scholarships help even the odds; they are essential. But they don’t meet all of students’ needs. Fortunately, there are also several philanthropists among us who are making a long-term commitment to give back to their community. They do so through bursaries and scholarships funds, and make a real difference in the lives of many. Others offer their support elsewhere than in institutions of higher learning, to assist in the development of different types of skills. Read on, and you’ll find out about a few beautiful success stories.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

September 2023

The Maxwell F. Yalden Bursary Fund

The Fund provides support to participants of Equitas’ human rights training programs from across the world.

Read on

The Jean E. Douville Bursaries

Mr. Jean E. Douville is very keen on supporting and encouraging diversity in finance and in commerce.

Read on

The Girls Write The Future Fund

Granting scholarships to Indigenous women enrolling at universities across the country.

Read on

The Fondation Famille Kenny Tang’s Impact Bursary

Highlighting the impact and the commitment of Indigenous artists.

Read on