“Université de Moncton is not like any other university”

Université de Moncton has launched its 2023-2028 strategy. It wants to strengthen its unique role in post-secondary education: to be an institution for the academic community. At the same time, it wants to better integrate its foreign students and diversify its representatives.

“Université de Moncton is not a university like any other. It has basic osmosis with the Acadian community. When he has the flu, the whole community coughs, said Rector Denis Prud’homme. We can’t behave there like in any big university in North America. We have additional obligations.”

It is precisely this principle that has guided the development of U de M’s 2023-2028 strategy. During his presentation on Tuesday, Dr. Prud’homme announced that he will work to ensure the institution produces important results for Acadians. It was launched in 1963.

“Working together, we will continue to make Université de Moncton the flagship institution in Acadia for the advancement of knowledge on key public issues, ultimately becoming the first choice for people seeking to study in French,” he said.

The chancellor also wants the U of M to act as a catalyst for the transformation of New Brunswick and Francophonie. He mentioned, for example, problems of homelessness, lack of housing, drug addiction, environmental protection, education and health care.

Affiliated university

“We are talking about a loyal university,” said Dr. Prud’homme. This means getting out of our classrooms, offices, and labs and reaching out to the community to share our expertise and help. We must prevent crises by taking the initiative with our partners in the civil society.”

He indicated that he was considering creating a “think tank” on social issues and research chairs at his institution (for example, in addition to Canada Research Chairs).

“Working with the community takes time and does not always end with a scientific paper,” Dr. Prud’homme admits. But it has important consequences for society. Therefore, we need to develop ways to better measure the U of M’s economic as well as social outcomes.

He added that he wants to better measure and evaluate community involvement, which is often overlooked in teacher evaluations.

“Research with and for society will take longer than laboratory research with animals,” Rector said. However, it is easy to estimate the number of articles written by a single researcher, much less measure the social impact of improving home care. It is up to us to equip them with measuring instruments.”

Valuable variety

While being the university of its community, U de M wants to be open to diversity.

“Universities have played an important role in equality, inclusion and localization by leading by example,” said Dr. Prud’homme. We have to play a role.”

The chancellor announced an update to the U of M’s policy on equality, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. He added that his institution will take positive steps in hiring with clearer criteria, greater discipline and greater awareness.

“It is more important today that 30% of our customers are international. It enriches discussion, ideas and creativity,” said Dr. Prud’homme.

Aminata Nadia Wendyam Ouedraogo, president of the U de M student association on the Shippagan campus, asked him for solutions to better connect foreign students and Acadians.

“Silo culture within our organization, especially intercultural, Dr. Prud’homme is well-known. “If we want to benefit from international students, we need to take measures to facilitate interaction with them and promote diversity.”

He suggested training teachers, changing the organization of lessons and offering activities outside the university curriculum.

“We have international students, but we are not yet an international university,” said Dr. Prud’homme. We have to do a lot to achieve this goal.”

Marielle DeGrâce, a counselor in the Department of Scholarships and Financial Aid, spoke about the challenges international students face in obtaining scholarships and student loans.

“Most of our scholarships are for Canadian students from New Brunswick, the chancellor admitted. The criteria are so specific that the beneficiaries of some of them, for example, must come from Neguac. It’s a culture to change among our donors.”

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