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OUR Terms of Reference mention scholarships twice. In the preamble it is stated that it is desirable to subject to an inquiry ". . . the system of aid for research including scholarships maintained by the National research Council and other governmental agencies . . . with a view to recommending their most effective conduct in the national interest and with full respect for the constitutional jurisdiction of the provinces . . ." In a later paragraph, the Commissioners are directed to make recommendations upon ". . . methods by which research is aided including grants of scholarships through various Federal Government agencies".
2. A formal and literal interpretation of these instructions might limit our recommendations to the scholarships at present granted by various federal organizations. Even this would entail fairly broad responsibilities since nine Federal Government departments now award scholarships or give research grants to students.
3. In so doing, however, it seems to us that we should be forgetting the saying of St. Paul: ". . . the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life". Moreover, the very title of our Commission imposes a much broader view of the problems involved: the word "development" implies or requires that past and present efforts be reviewed in order that Canadian cultural life should be advanced as well as considered. Canada's future cultural development depends primarily upon the availability of higher education for her young people; the more students with ability who receive such education, the wider will be the scope and variety of Canada's cultural possibilities.
4. It is, we believe, our duty to consider how the Canadian Government can best provide financial assistance to a great number of young Canadians who, although qualified, without such help would be unable to acquire the intellectual development needed for their own good as well as for the good of their country. Our interest in scholarships, therefore, does not stem from a desire to improve educational institutions or their
programmes, though naturally we are interested in these matters. Our care is rather for the Canadian citizen and for his right to the opportunity to develop fully his intellectual possibilities. That right has been well set forth by the Fédération des Chambres de Commerce des Jeunes de la Province de Québec: "Scholarships do not concern any particular educational institutions, any particular granting organization or any particular government, but all the students of a province and even of the whole country".1
5. The Canadian constitution does not forbid financial assistance to a citizen in order to help him to carry on studies in his chosen field. No one will contend that the granting of such assistance by an individual or group constitutes an interference with the country's educational system, the independence of the educational institutions or the programmes of these institutions. A similar reasoning applies to the financial aid which the Federal Government might provide to any citizen to enable him to pursue ordinary or specialized education.
6. We shall be noting later in some detail the scholarship practices in other countries; at this point it may be useful to make one or two comparisons between the extent of assistance offered to students in Canada and that available to students in other countries; these comparisons we find disturbing. In 1948-49 when university enrolment in this country reached a total of 79,650 students, 23,100, that is about 30 per cent, were ex-servicemen holding bursaries from the Federal Government; but apart from the ex-servicemen, only one out of six or seven students, or less than 14 per cent of the total enrolment in Canadian universities, were holders of scholarships, even when students with bursaries under the Vocational Training scheme are included. When it is recalled that approximately 14 per cent of Canadian students were scholarship holders in 1938, it will be realized that we have made no permanent advance in these ten years.
7. On the other hand in Great Britain, in 1947-48, 25 per cent of the students, apart from ex-servicemen, held bursaries. Moreover, we understand that government plans for scholarships will result in the increase of this proportion to 70 per cent of the total number of university students. In the United States, the Presidential Commission on Higher Education has suggested a generous scheme with scholarships to be granted to 20 per cent of the total university enrolment as a first step; and has recommended for this purpose an initial vote of $120,000,000. In France, many bursaries are given for academic distinction at all levels of education, and since university fees are negligible, any thrifty and intelligent youth can proceed to the highest university degrees.
8. We proceed now, in accordance with our Terms of Reference, to consider scholarships in Canada.
9. In Canada, although it has been traditional that many undergraduates pay their way through the university by summer and other employment, for many years it has been found essential to provide assistance for post-graduate students; but is has not yet been found possible to establish an adequate system of scholarships for undergraduates. In any national scholarship structure, undergraduate scholarships are the foundation of the system and of these we shall speak later; post-graduate and post-doctoral scholarships form the superstructure, and these have long been accepted in Canada as part of our educational systems. Undergraduate scholarships and post-graduate scholarships must be complementary parts of any plan which has as its objective the gradual improvement of the general intellectual standard of the nation through wider opportunities for its more gifted members.
10. In the briefs presented to us, the right of the Federal Government to grant scholarships to students or to research workers in science, health and social work was assumed. It was agreed that the public interest and the progress of our country were here involved. Moreover, not infrequently astonishment was expressed that the government had not yet undertaken to do for the humanities and social sciences what it had already done for scientific and professional studies; and it was stated with regret that Canadian graduates in the arts or the social sciences are in a position of inferiority to their fellow-students in the natural sciences to whom many scholarships are already made available by the Federal Government.
11. The National research Council distributes a large number of post-graduate scholarships for advanced work in science. The grant of post-graduate scholarships was the first official act of this agency; in the first year of its foundation it offered to young Canadians twenty-five scholarships for advanced study in certain scientific fields which seemed to be neglected in Canada. It is moreover a principle of the National research Council to establish new scholarships (and the same is true of research grants) as new needs, created by scientific and technical progress in our country, arise; all candidates, whether for scholarships at an elementary or for fellowships at the highest level of professional competence, must give evidence of special interest in and capacity for research.
12. In 1949-50, 154 awards were made at a cost to the council of $109,200, including eighteen fellowships of a value of $900. These fellowships are offered to graduates competent to engage in independent research and able to devote almost their full time to this work. The scholarships of 1949-50 included also fifty-six studentships of a value of
$750. The beneficiary of this type of scholarship must devote the greater part of his university work to research, while at the same time continuing his advanced studies in science. Sixty-eight bursaries of a value of $450 were granted to recent graduates who wished to pursue further their scientific studies and to begin their careers as research workers. In addition, the Council granted six special fellowships for advanced study abroad, ranging in value from $750 to $1,500, and six post-doctoral fellowships for study abroad of a value of $2,500. In addition to these scholarships reserved for the fundamental and applied sciences, the National research Council also awarded forty-one fellowships and four senior fellowships in medicine.2
13. In accordance with the National research Council's policy of international exchanges among its scientific workers, it also offers fellowships to scholars from abroad to come and work in the Council's laboratories. In 1949, about seventy-five such scientists from other countries took advantage of these scholarships.
14. We have heard nothing but praise for the National research Council, its organization and its administration, especially for the manner in which it administers its scholarship system. Thanks to a wise policy, made effective by the scholarships and grants of the National research Council, Canada was able to find the large number of specialists needed by the Council during the recent war. Today, more than 100 professors in the various sciences in our universities, more than 140 scientific workers and technicians in industry, and more than 100 technical workers in the various services of the Federal Government, (without counting 71 scientists working for the Council itself), formerly held scholarships from the Council.
15. The Department of Health and Welfare also grants a number of scholarships, most of them for graduates who, after undergraduate studies of a professional or technical nature, wish to become specialists in psychiatry, in public health, in radiology, in laboratory science, or in kindred matters. In 1948-49, Parliament voted $500,000 for the post-graduate training of specialists whose work was considered vital to our national health. The choice of the specialists to be so trained is left to the provinces which also determine the amount of the scholarship to be awarded to each student. The holders of these scholarships undertake to practise their specialized skill during a certain minimum time in the province which recommended them to the Federal Government for post-graduate training.
16. In addition to these scholarships from the Federal Government, a number of graduate scholarships are offered by Provincial Governments and by other agencies including voluntary societies. For example, the Province of Quebec for the past thirty years has granted each year several scholarships for advanced study in the universities of Europe and
the United States. Some of these scholarships are tenable for a number of years.
17. Canadian universities grant about two hundred post-graduate scholarships each year, some of them tenable abroad. Universities also assist their students to continue post-graduate studies by engaging them as junior lecturers, leaving them as much time as possible for their own studies and research.
18. Voluntary societies have been generous in assistance offered to graduate students. The Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire offers annually in each province a scholarship which enables the student to continue his studies in a university in Great Britain. The Canadian Federation of University Women offers a travelling scholarship for advanced study, and junior scholarships for post-graduate study in Canadian universities. The Royal Society also offers a number of fellowships for research, chiefly in the natural sciences. The St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montreal established in 1944 a system of loans called "le Prêt d'Honneur", of which the purpose is to help needy students of recognized ability to undertake or continue specialized studies. From 1944 to 1948, 223 loans have been thus made to 172 students. The Société l'Assomption, a voluntary association created for the benefit of the Acadian groups in the Maritime Provinces, created, twenty years ago, a foundation for scholarships. In 1949-50 this association provided scholarships for 202 students. We have been told that in one year $250,000 has been allotted by the Société l'Assomption to scholarships.
19. It is, however, somewhat surprising to discover that even in scientific fields the Federal Government has been much less generous to Canadian students than have the governments or institutions of other countries. In 1948-49 there were 207 Canadian scholarship holders who were known to be pursuing their advanced studies abroad in various sciences; there were no doubt many others. In this same year, only 197 Canadian scholarship holders were engaged in scientific study in Canadian universities. It is, of course, true that some of these Canadians studying abroad were holders of scholarships from the National research Council or from a Canadian foundation; but the number of scholarships in science granted to Canadians by universities or institutions in countries abroad is considerably greater than the number of scholarships available to our graduates in our own country. In the humanities and social sciences the disproportion between aid from abroad and aid from Canada is much greater. These generalizations, of course, do not apply to the generous interpretation of the D.V.A. policy which has permitted many Canadian students to study abroad.
20. Although we have not been able to determine all the post-graduate scholarships abroad which are available to Canadian students, it is apparent
that the greatest liberality is shown not only by the universities of the United States but by such institutions as the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and by the Carnegie Corporation. It would be extremely difficult to discover how many Canadian students are pursuing post-graduate studies aided by scholarships in American universities. The British Council has also been generous to us. In 1950-51 five British Council scholarships have been granted to Canada. In addition, the Government of Great Britain supplies yearly both travel grants and industrial fellowships to Canadians. For Canadians who wish to study in Great Britain there are, of course, generous scholarships available, including the Rhodes, the Nuffield, the Exhibition of 1851 Scholarships and many others from university and private sources. Following the policy already initiated before the war, the Government of France since 1945 has been awarding scholarships each year, now numbering forty, for study in France; and these are available to the graduates of all Canadian universities. These scholarships of the French Government are worth approximately $600, to cover a ten-month period of studies; to this is added the cost of one-way travel expenses. In 1949 the Government of Sweden began to offer scholarships to Canadian students; and the Government of Brazil has been awarding scholarships to graduates of Canadian universities for some years.
21. It is clear that although the Federal Government accepts the principle that scholarships should be offered for the encouragement of post-graduate studies, in no field are these scholarships offered on a lavish scale; and certain important areas of study, especially in the creative arts, the humanities and the social sciences, are left almost entirely to the efforts of voluntary societies. A number of important voluntary organizations have expressed with some urgency their conviction that there should be established an adequate system of scholarships for the encouragement of post-graduate studies, and that the neglect shown particularly in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences should be remedied.
22. The brief of the student veterans of the University of British Columbia speaks with clarity and force on this subject:
23. The Humanities research Council of Canada in its brief to this Commission spoke of the unfavourable position of Canadian graduates in the humanities; and the Royal Society of Canada makes a similar reference. But we were particularly struck by the earnestness and the acuteness with which those who are responsible, Protestant and Catholic alike, for the spiritual guidance of the Canadian people, discussed these matters, showing how fully aware they are that it would be difficult to maintain in Canada a proper sense of essential values, moral and intellectual, if we permit the study of history, of literature and of philosophy to become neglected and debased. Similar views were expressed to us by a number of voluntary organizations with no immediate interest in educational matters.
24. We find it also reassuring to observe that various Canadian scientists, invited to assist us in our work, have urged us to make a strong recommendation that the Government establish a system of scholarships for graduates in the humanities. They emphasized the profound importance of the humanities in the training of young minds.
25. We have already stated in a previous chapter our view that this neglect of the humanities is a grave danger to our national life. Lack of financial aid for post-graduate studies in these fields seems to be both a symptom and a cause of this neglect. No one has suggested that scholarships alone can restore vitality to these subjects. It has, however, been urged that financial encouragement would, by equalizing financial opportunities for post-graduate students, do something to remove the barrier which now discourages those with a natural interest in the humanities from continuing their studies.
26. We have also been reminded that there is a serious need in Canada for fellowships of another kind. This further need has been pointed out to us by a number of societies interested in the fine arts. There is at present in Canada no fund which makes it possible for the creative artist to secure that leisure and opportunity for study abroad which may be all that is required to enable him to do work of a very high order. It is proposed that grants for this purpose should not be made through an academic institution and should not be limited by restrictions on age. These awards should be available to assist those who are already doing valuable creative work but who need wider opportunities.
27. As we have observed, imperfect though the system of post-graduate scholarships may be, Canada has made much better provision for
graduates than for undergraduates. A system of post-graduate scholarships, however, is incomplete and inadequate if not based upon an extensive system of undergraduate scholarships. If we are to have enough students with the intelligence and the aptitude for post-graduate study, they must be drawn from the undergraduate body which, through a system of national scholarships, should comprise the ablest of Canada's young people. Selection and assistance must begin during the undergraduate period of university education. Only a few undergraduate awards from private sources are now given to allow those who are unusually gifted to secure that preliminary education which is essential to higher studies of a professional or specialized nature. Where gifted students are prevented by inadequate resources from pursuing their undergraduate studies, the effectiveness of any scheme of post-graduate scholarships is inevitably restricted.
28. That Canada has already admitted in some measure the obligation referred to at the beginning of this chapter has been shown by the Vocational Training plan and by the educational policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under the Vocational Training plan, financial assistance is given to Canadian university students. This plan, which is supported jointly by the Federal and Provincial Governments, as indeed are all the forms of aid which fall within the general scheme of vocational training, is applicable to students from sixteen to thirty years of age who are pursuing a course of study leading to a degree in a recognized university and who could not continue their studies without financial aid. It is left to the provinces to determine whether the aid should be given in loans or grants, or in a combination of both.
29. During the years 1939-49 the following sums have been paid to the provinces by the Federal Government for student aid under the Canadian Vocational Training Act:
30. In 1948-49 the Government of Canada provided $128,483 in grants and $75,853 in loans. These sums were distributed to 2,000 university students and to 440 student nurses. Students who profited by these grants in the Arts and Sciences numbered 777, in Medicine 406, in Engineering 391, in Dentistry 88, and in Economics 64. In the Province of Quebec, 924 students attending universities received this joint Federal-
Provincial aid; there were 463 in Ontario, 359 in British Columbia, 143 in Saskatchewan, 111 in Alberta, 90 in New Brunswick, 68 in Nova Scotia, 14 in Manitoba, and 28 in Prince Edward Island. In turn, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario contributed respectively $75,985 and $50,000 for student aid in 1948-49.
31. The procedures followed in the choice of candidates for these grants respect scrupulously provincial rights in educational matters. In each province a Scholarship Committee, composed of a representative of each university, of the Federal Government and of the Provincial Government, is responsible for the selection of scholars and for the administration of the plan.
32. It seems to us that the general problem of undergraduate scholarships should be studied in the light of this successful experiment. We should also like to point out that since the beginning of the Federal-Provincial agreements on Vocational training, various Provincial Governments have contributed to the plan on a scale much greater than could have been expected at its inception. For example, while the Federal Government granted during the years for this purpose and for all the various projects of the plan $317,000 in scholarships and $237,000 in loans to students and apprentices in Quebec, the Province of Quebec in turn contributed $634,000 in scholarships and $423,000 in loans. The governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan and of British Columbia also exceeded very considerably the proportion of fifty per cent of the grants as originally planned.
33. The plan administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs has been the second important scheme undertaken by the Federal Government to give financial assistance to young Canadians at the undergraduate level so that they can get the education they desire. The principle adopted on a relatively small scale following the war of 1914-18 was extended after the recent war, and in 1947 there were 30,500 ex-servicemen enrolled in our Canadian universities who were receiving federal aid. It is estimated that 55,000 Canadians of undergraduate age benefited by federal assistance for educational purposes to ex-servicemen, and that of these 55,000 at least 45,000 pursued university studies for one or more years.
34. During our public sessions these two educational plans were frequently brought to our attention. We think that the following inferences may fairly be drawn from what we heard: federal aid to university undergraduates is generally accepted in principle, and this aid is welcomed by all the provinces without hesitation provided that their jurisdiction in educational matters is respected and safeguarded. Moreover, in recalling these two experiments, we were reminded that the academic results obtained by those who benefited from D.V.A. or Vocational Training grants
have been excellent. Of the veterans receiving federal aid only eight per cent failed in their examinations in 1948-49. We have no figures on failure of students working under the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act but we understand that the students benefiting from these grants have been well chosen and have taken due advantage of the opportunities offered them.
35. As we have already observed, Canada, in instituting a system of undergraduate scholarships, would be following a practice now generally accepted as necessary and desirable by the democratic countries of the Western World. The most striking example of generous aid to undergraduates is to be found, as we have noticed, in Great Britain where three systems of scholarships were instituted before or during the last war and have been maintained by successive governments. The first of these, the State Scholarship Scheme, was designed to pay the full expense of the student during the academic year. These scholarships are granted on the basis of need, but with some emphasis on scholastic ability. The Further Education and Training Scheme corresponds to the Vocational Training Plan in Canada and its grants may be used for professional and technical instruction as well as for undergraduate education. For this grant less emphasis is placed on ability and more on need than in the State scholarships. Finally, a third scheme provides a system of grants for the holders of university or college scholarships of a value equal to the difference between such scholarships and those given by the State. In 1948, about 23,000 new grants were made under the three schemes, most of them to undergraduates.
36. In Australia, a federal country where education is the responsibility of the different states, the national government has instituted an elaborate plan of financial aid to university undergraduates, the Commonwealth Financial Assistance Plan. Aid is extended to students in secondary schools as well as to undergraduates. The scholarships provide both maintenance and academic fees. From 1946-50 each year 729 students were assisted with such good results that after January 1st, 1951, a new plan will be put into operation providing 3,000 scholarships annually, or 9,000 in all, to be awarded by open competition.
37. Since education in France is highly centralized, and since the French Government assumes almost complete responsibility for the education of its citizens at all stages, it is difficult to compare the French system of financial aid for educational purposes with the British system of scholarships. In France a strict system of selection is applied by examination at the end of the first year of secondary education and in succeeding years, thus permitting the educational authorities to guide students towards those disciplines for which they have the greatest aptitudes. Since the fees in the universities of France are nominal and since non-interest bear-
ing loans are readily available it is true to say that all university students in France receive financial assistance from the central government.
38. The provision of national scholarships was a matter of great interest to many groups and individuals who appeared before us. One hundred and forty-three of the briefs submitted recommend that the Federal Government institute a system of scholarships at the undergraduate level. The briefs presenting the views of those most immediately concerned with education (certain Provincial Governments, the heads of our largest educational institutions, national educational organizations, associations of students and professional societies) insist on the necessity of creating a system of undergraduate scholarships. Four Provincial Governments (Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland) expressed to us their desire for direct federal aid to undergraduates.
39. The Government of Ontario through its Minister of Education proposed that the present system of aid to undergraduates (The Vocational Training Act of 1942) be enlarged so that a greater number of undergraduates could secure financial assistance. The brief of the Government of Newfoundland, while insisting that the institution of a national system of federal scholarships should not provide Provincial Governments with a pretext for stopping the direct aid which these governments are now granting to students,4 stated that the present system of scholarships in Newfoundland does not go far enough and that federal aid could very well be granted to make the scheme much more widespread and perhaps more generous.5 The Minister of Education of the Province of Saskatchewan referred to federal aid to students in various fields, particularly in specialized work; he suggested that only a beginning has been made and that a rational and well co-ordinated system of scholarships should be created "to produce the best and most efficient citizens". The Department of Education of the Province of Nova Scotia, represented by its Adult Education Division, advocated the extension of popular education by a great increase in the facilities for formal education. What is needed, we were told, is to find a greater number of leaders who, by example and by action, will preach the gospel of popular education. The way to find them is to open the doors of universities and of colleges to our best students by a national system of scholarships; and the first step is clearly to institute a system of scholarships for undergraduates.
40. Canadian universities have dealt with this problem in a manner even more emphatic than that of the Provincial Governments. The National Conference of Canadian Universities, which speaks for all Canadian universities, expressed on two occasions before our Commission (in a public session in Ottawa in August of 1949 and at a private session in the summer of 1950) its urgent wish to see the Government of Canada institute a system of undergraduate scholarships. We have been impressed
by the arguments submitted to us. The development of our country from every point of view is dependent upon our ensuring that through adequate training our ablest young people are equipped to carry out the tasks which they will be called upon to perform. Because of their financial circumstances, however, many of those potentially capable of playing an important role in the nation's development are unable, under present conditions, to get the necessary education. A national system of scholarships at all university levels is therefore necessary in our country, and it must be founded upon adequate federal aid for the education of our ablest young men and women. "For those whose language is English, it may in general be said that the core of the whole system is the undergraduate course in Arts and Sciences", says the brief of the National Conference of Canadian Universities. "This is the broad central highway, from which narrower routes diverge at various levels from the most elementary to the most advanced and lead into the several professional faculties and special schools."6
41. Laval University, after expressing its agreement with the recommendations of the National Conference of Canadian Universities, pointed out that for the classical colleges the last four years constitute "the broad central highway" of general academic education. These last four years are the equivalent of the undergraduate courses in the colleges of English-speaking Canada.
42. The principal labour organizations of Canada urged that a national system of scholarships was the only means of giving to Canadian citizens, irrespective of their financial status, equality of opportunity. The Trades and Labour Congress insisted that equality of opportunity in education forms one of the standards by which any society should be judged. Again, the Canadian Congress of Labour referred to the results obtained by ex-servicemen from the educational opportunities given them, and reminded us that state aid to students, particularly to undergraduates, is one of the most profitable of state investments:
The Canadian and Catholic Confederation of Labour expressed very clearly its desire that undergraduate scholarships be provided as part of a general scholarship scheme, and urged that a plan be created which would be applicable to undergraduate as well as to graduate students;
they added that the criterion for scholarships should be ability and that as many scholarships as necessary should be established.
43. This Commission, created by the Federal Government, has been particularly interested in the representations made by professional associations of civil servants and by senior government officials who have considered national scholarships as a means to ensure the availability of competent civil servants for governmental service. The Professional Institute of the Civil Service of Canada, after discussing the various methods by which the Federal Government is now aiding higher education, adds:
Then follows a detailed proposal on scholarships for undergraduates.
44. Numerous briefs expressing the view that it is essential to give university training to those who in the future will hold administrative responsibility were submitted to us by various deputy ministers and heads of branches of the Federal Government. One of the latter wrote to us:
45. The reservations expressed to us by certain organizations on the institution of a national system of scholarships at the undergraduate level did not deny the importance of federal aid to undergraduates, but emphasized the constitutional conflict which this aid might provoke if not resulting from an agreement between Federal and Provincial Governments. The most forthright view which we heard was as follows:
It will be seen in a later chapter that, by profiting from the experience gained from the Provincial-Federal agreement on undergraduate scholarships which has now been effective for a number of years, it would be entirely feasible for the Federal Government to fulfil its duties toward our students without infringing the provisions of the Constitution.
* From: Canada. Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences. Report. Ottawa : King's Printer, 1951. By permission of the Privy Council Office.