Computer grads needed: CUP
CUP, the Commission des universités sur les programmes, recommends that industry and the university sector get together to tackle the critical shortage of computer professionals.
The recommendation that a joint task force be created to handle the problem is part of CUP's report on the teaching of physics, mathematics and computer science.
The report's summary repeats the oft-quoted forecast that Quebec has vacancies for 2,000 computer science graduates, Canada needs 20,000, and the U.S. needs 200,000. Quebec has produced about 750 graduates a year since 1990.
The report also notes that research activity in the physics sector is vigourous, and the Institut des sciences mathématiques, which started with the Montreal universities, continues to add member institutions.
In another report, on theology and religious studies, the committee notes considerable change over the past 30 years, reflecting the secularization of Quebec. While there has been a drastic reduction in applicants for theology programs, there has been a flowering of lively interest in spirituality of all kinds.
Ten Quebec universities offer 47 full programs and 22 certificates to nearly 3,000 students. Religious studies courses have become especially popular as electives.
In view of the wide diversity of courses, the relatively high interest, and the rationalizations already effected by the universities, CUP did not recommend major changes in this discipline.
(Concordia has a Department of Theology, based at Loyola and with a Roman Catholic focus, and a Department of Religious Studies, based on the Sir George Williams Campus, which offers a joint doctorate with the Université du Québec à Montréal.)
CUP is a government task force operating through CREPUQ, the conference of rectors, and has been rationalizing curricula, subject by subject. These were their fourth and fifth reports, the previous ones being on engineering, music, and journalism/communication studies. For details, please consult http://www.cup.qc.ca/
Late last month, CUP announced that Michel Gervais, a former vice-rector at Université Laval, would become chair.