Universities: drivers of wealth creation for Québec and Montréal

Montréal, October 5, 2016 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Montréal International released a study today entitled The Contribution of Greater Montréal Universities to the Québec Economy, with Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre and representatives of Greater Montréal’s 11 universities on hand. Backed by solid data, this study confirms the importance of teaching and university research for the wealth of Québec and Montréal. In addition to stimulating the knowledge and innovation economy, universities are active in their community, improving the quality of life of Quebecers.


“The city’s universities play a crucial role in the future of our society,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “They train skilled labour, which is essential to the competitiveness of local businesses. University research directly increases the capacity of industries to innovate. Given the challenges we are facing in terms of productivity and an aging population, we need to promote the fundamental role of Montréal universities and their contribution to our society.

“Knowledge is the basis of our economic attractiveness, so we need to position Greater Montréal as an international university centre,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International. “The availability of talent and university graduates is the leading decision-making factor for foreign investors. As such, as a society we need to identify our challenges and act quickly to increase the number of university graduates, while retaining more international students in the region.”

“In addition to being partners in our economic development, universities take an active part in their community by putting their talent and high-quality facilities at the disposal of Montrealers,” said Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre. “University students, professors and staff contribute to the city’s vitality. We can be proud of our universities.”

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Montréal International have identified six winning conditions to maximize the positive spinoffs of universities for the city’s economy:

  • Creating a positive discourse that contributes to a sense of pride about universities.
  • Increasing the number of university graduates in the Greater Montréal population aged 25 to 34 by five percentage points over five years.
  • Making education, including higher education, the priority in the next provincial budget.
  • Continuing to encourage efforts to increase the retention of international students after they graduate from a Greater Montréal university to reach 10,000 by 2019.
  • Creating a roundtable that brings together representatives of universities, CEGEPs, the Government of Québec and employers to help tie programs offered by institutions of higher learning to future labour needs.
  • Increasing partnerships between universities and public, private and non-profit organizations to offer an agile response to the job market’s needs for new skills.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Montréal International are committed to developing a strategy to bring these six winning conditions together and celebrating the role and contribution of universities.

To consult the full study, click here.

About the study

The study The Contribution of Greater Montréal Universities to the Québec Economy was conducted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, in partnership with Montréal International.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

About Montréal International 

Created in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal. Its mandate is to attract foreign investment, international organizations and skilled workers to the Montréal area.

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