Graduate students will be able to focus more on their studies, rather than the costs, as the result of a new scholarship fund from the Government of British Columbia.
“The B.C. Graduate Scholarship Fund is a long-overdue investment that will break down barriers for graduate students in all regions of the province,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our graduate students are at the leading edge of research and innovation. They’re tackling real-world problems in sustainability, medicine and technology, and ultimately they’re our future leaders, experts, and instructors. I’m so proud we’re supporting these students and, in turn, lifting up our communities.”
The $12-million scholarship fund has been allocated among 10 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. that offer graduate degree programs, supporting 800 awards of $15,000 each through 2021. The awards are merit based, research focused and will emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Other research disciplines and professional programs, such as business administration and health, will also be eligible.
“B.C.’s technology and innovation sector relies on highly-skilled people who can fill the growing number of jobs being created throughout our province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “This $12-million graduate scholarship fund will help students hone the skills they need to launch their careers in this thriving industry, and will enable them to conduct research that could unlock the next ground-breaking innovation to shape our world.”
Approximately 16,000 domestic students are enrolled in graduate degree programs at B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions. Student groups and other post-secondary sector partners have long advocated for a graduate scholarship program, as British Columbia lagged behind other provinces.
"The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) applauds the introduction of the B.C. graduate scholarship program,” said Jacqueline Holler, CUFA BC president. “We believe this program will allow B.C. to attract and retain the best and brightest graduate students and expand B.C.'s research capacity. We look forward to continuing to work with the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training as the program is rolled out across the province."
The new B.C. Graduate Scholarship Fund supports the Confidence and Supply Agreement commitment to make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.
- The fund is part of a larger plan to increase support for the technology sector — one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. It generates approximately $29 billion in revenue and supports over 106,000 good-paying jobs with more than 10,200 businesses.
- B.C. is also investing in 2,900 new tech spaces, as well as 10 Women in Technology scholarships of $10,000 awarded annually, including at least one award to an Indigenous woman.
A backgrounder follows.