The challenge to combine study, work and family

For several years now, the family-work-study balance (CFTE) has become a real social problem. A significant portion of Quebec’s student population has parental and family responsibilities in addition to employment. Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, professor at TÉLUQ University’s School of Business Administration, has studied the measures and initiatives taken by Quebec’s universities and CEGEPs to help students reconcile family, work and study.

At the request of the Department of Higher Education, Professor Tremblay researched the offer to study parents to help them successfully complete their studies. She noted that it is rather difficult to quantify the number of parent students, as few institutions offer to identify themselves as such upon registration.

“About 5% of universities and 26% of CEGEPs identify student parent status. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that measures are part of this status,” she explains.

Among the benefits that are sometimes possible, but in some cases obtainable informally, she mentions re-examinations and postponement of the date of submission of work. “At Teluq University, these kinds of arrangements are more formal because our students take online courses remotely. The student who extends his course does not change anything for the teacher. On a campus, it is more difficult to make an appointment with the professor.

Good practices to share

In Quebec, the balance between work and family has been discussed for over fifteen years. More than in English Canada and more than in France, according to Ms Tremblay. “It’s something that’s very strong in social discourse. However, the study dimension is clearly less present. The idea here is therefore to publicize the good practices of certain institutions.

According to his research, the measures currently in place in certain places are: on-site childcare (76% of institutions), offers of financial assistance, grants and specific discounts (39% of universities and 19% of CEGEPs), activities organized between student parents and service offers for them (44% of universities, 26% in CEGEPs), discussion groups and events, student parent help for newcomers (rare, but interesting), priority parking, food aid, clothing donations and used book banks .

Parent-student status would therefore benefit from being more widespread, as it would reassure the institution and the professor, for example, faced with a request for a postponement, by knowing that the student’s situation is really special. is.

“If we look at the data, young people work at the same time as their studies. It’s a matter. The measures have an impact on the success and continuation of studies.”

As the trend is on the rise, one may wonder whether these measures are sufficient. “There should be more awareness, but at the same time it is difficult to place all the responsibility with the educational institutions. Employers also have to do their part and with the current labor shortage, they don’t have much choice to take it easy. In fact, what is unfortunate and problematic is that employers make an effort when the employee’s work is perceived as highly satisfying. As a result, there can be a bit of randomness. Also, it is necessary for the student to consider whether he is really available for his studies. Many only do one or two lessons per session to coordinate everything. In short, everyone has an interest in developing Quebecers’ skills in the context of a labor shortage.

In addition to the report, there are three informative podcasts addressing the challenges facing student parents at

SERIES – More and more mothers are raising their children alone in Quebec. The mono mother challenge is aimed at these women and aims to help them cope with their specific challenges.

Photo: iStock

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