New health sciences centre enhances learning experiences for students (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

Media Relations
250 508-5030

Jocelyne Leszczynski

Manager, Communications
British Columbia Institute of Technology
604 250-9251


What people are saying about the BCIT Health Sciences Centre

Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North –

“Health care is a demanding field, and all British Columbians benefit from access to highly skilled and exceptionally trained professionals. BCIT is a leader in the sector, and the new BCIT Health Sciences Centre will help thousands of students get the training they need to succeed in the classroom and throughout their careers.”

Carla Lucero, BCIT student, bachelor of science in nursing

“The BCIT Health Sciences Centre comes with an expansion of resources that are critical in ensuring the current and future generation of health-care professionals are well supported to care for the people in our province. I look forward to honing my skills using cutting-edge technology and to be part of an industry that makes a long-term difference.”

Victoria Lee, president and CEO, Fraser Health Authority –

“Compassionate staff and medical staff who are dedicated to excellence in their profession with a solid foundation of knowledge, experience and education are central to delivering Fraser Health’s vision of Better Health and Best in Health Care. I commend BCIT and the Province for investing in future health professionals, and for the positive impact its graduates will have on the health of people across our region.”

Fiona Dalton, president and CEO, Providence Health Authority –

“Today’s students are our future workforce. BCIT’s visionary new Health Sciences Centre strengthens British Columbia’s competitive advantage by offering a 21st-century education and training facility for diverse professions in health-care sciences. Health-care professionals and technicians will continue to be in high demand in the coming years. The BCIT Health Sciences Centre will offer students meaningful and expert skill-building and learning experiences. Students will attain competencies that will result in improved supports and health-care outcomes for British Columbians. With the development of the new St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus underway, Providence Health Care is excited and confident BCIT’s new centre will provide the skilled talent and highly professional workforce to support innovative health care to patients for decades to come.”

David Podmore, chair, INSPIRE Campaign and president; CEO, Concert Properties –

“Through the INSPIRE fundraising campaign, we had a vision to transform the infrastructure at BCIT and empower our students to become the leaders our province needs. With the generous support of our government and donors across several sectors, that vision has become a reality with the new BCIT Health Sciences Centre. The centre is the first of many projects that make up our bold vision, and we look forward to continuing to inspire the next generation of learning spaces and setting the standard for applied education.”

Supports for post-secondary education, training for health professionals

Health care is one of the fastest growing fields of employment in B.C. and is an important part of a strong, resilient economy. By investing in learning spaces, hospitals, clinics, equipment and front-line care providers, more people such as seniors, young families and children will be able to access the health care they need, when they need it.

The B.C. government is training more health-care workers so people can access the care they need. Since 2017, government has provided ongoing annual targeted funding of close to $140 million for health education programs to public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C., but also providing one-time additional investments to respond directly to health-workforce demands.

Increasing nursing training:

  • In February 2022, the B.C. government added 602 new nursing seats to the approximately 2,000 seats currently in nursing programs in B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions.
  • The new seats include 362 registered nursing seats, including 96 new seats at BCIT, 40 registered psychiatric nursing seats, 20 nurse practitioner seats and 180 licensed practical nurse seats at 17 public post-secondary institutions. As part of this expansion, new seats will support health-care assistants who want to train as a licensed practical nurse, and those looking to move into a career as a registered nurse.
  • There is a new northeast nursing program in Fort St. John. This is the first time people have been able to train to be a registered nurse in northeastern B.C.
  • The number of specialty nurse training seats at BCIT has increased to 1,000 annually.
  • The nurse practitioner programs at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and University of Northern British Columbia have all recently expanded, and a new program is under development at Thompson Rivers University.
  • Since 2017, the number of nurse practitioner seats has more than doubled. As well, there has been a 46% increase in practical nursing seats and 22% increase in bachelor of nursing seats.
  • To meet the increasing demand for nurses in British Columbia, the Province has also recently launched new supports and bursaries to make it easier for eligible internationally educated nurses to enter the province’s health system so they can support British Columbians’ health-care needs sooner.

Training more health-care assistants:

  • The Province is working with post-secondary institutions to expand health-care assistant training as part of the Health Career Access Program.
  • Through this program, government is recruiting 3,000 health-care workers in home and community care, long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the province.
  • As of January 2022, there have been 3,819 hires, and almost 2,500 are enrolled in a training program.
  • This progress is due to a partnership with the Ministry of Health to train more health-care assistants through the Health Career Access Program, an innovative, integrated learning partnership.
  • This program is supported through investments of $30.2 million, added to the $8.5 million announced as part of StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan to help thousands of people upskill or reskill.

Expanding physical therapy training:

  • The Province is investing $24.9 million into the purchase and renovation of new program space in Surrey so the University of British Columbia can expand its master of physical therapy program in the Fraser region.
  • Twenty new seats will be available this fall, with those students moving to the new location in Surrey when it opens in 2023.
  • Physical therapists are identified as high-demand jobs, with 1,860 job openings in B.C. expected between 2021 and 2031.

Investing in health-care innovation:

  • The Province recently announced a $25-million investment in a new learning environment for the school of biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia.
  • Biomedical engineering combines engineering principles with medical sciences to design, create and evaluate equipment, computer systems and software used in medicine and health care.
  • The work, spanning many fields, focuses on improving human health, including: designing and building artificial internal organs and body parts, such as hip joints; designing computer software to operate complex medical equipment, such as 3D X-ray machines; and developing new drug therapies.

Improving access and affordability of post-secondary education:

  • The Government of B.C. is investing in student housing as part of Homes for B.C., a 10-year housing plan with 8,000 new on-campus student beds to be built by 2028.
  • To date, 6,837 new beds (3,950 government funded, 2,887 funded by the institutions) for student housing are open or underway, so more British Columbians have affordable housing alternatives to pursue post-secondary education.
  • The Province ended interest payments on student loans in 2019, saving students $40 million so far.
  • The B.C. government launched the BC Access Grant – the first new grant in 15 years – with 32,000 students receiving more than $36 million for tuition since 2020.
  • In May 2022, the Province invested $3.75 million to support scholarships for graduate students at 10 public post-secondary institutions.
  • The Province introduced the B.C. graduate scholarships in 2018 and has invested nearly $20 million to support student success and decrease barriers for graduate students in all regions of the province.
  • The Province eliminated tuition fees for former youth in care 26 and under, including for trades training, helping more than 1,600 students.