Saturday June 4, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC
by Molly Pearce | Island Social Trends
Graduate students at the University of Victoria (UVic) and Royal Roads University (RRU) will soon become recipients of scholarships which will alleviate financial pressures and make their studies and training more accessible.
Back on May 24, Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin jointly announced the scholarships from The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training which will support graduate research in STEM and professional programs such as business administration and healthcare.
Dean said the funding will allow students to focus on innovation and research to the benefit of “the collective well-being of everyone in our communities and province.”
In the Greater Victoria area, UVic will receive $630,000 in funding, while RRU will receive $135,000. This funding will go directly to students in graduate programs in the form of merit-based scholarships. There are currently 10 BC post-secondary institutions that administer these scholarships to students:
The 10 post-secondary institutions receiving B.C. Graduate Scholarship funding are:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology: $45,000
- Emily Carr University of Art and Design: $45,000
- Royal Roads University: $135,000
- Simon Fraser University: $630,000
- Thompson Rivers University: $135,000
- University of British Columbia: $1,650,000
- University of the Fraser Valley: $90,000
- University of Northern British Columbia: $255,000
- University of Victoria: $630,000
- Vancouver Island University: $135,000
Improving grad studies accessibility:
The BC Government introduced the $3.75 million scholarship fund in 2018 with the goal of making graduate studies accessible to students. More students will now benefit from these scholarships as the fund will provide 250 awards of a minimum of $15,000 each between now and March 2024.
These awards help schools attract and retain students, while increasing the productivity of their research. The Ministry expects that the scholarships will inspire innovation and increase economic growth across the province.
Financial support is key:
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang spoke to the scholarships at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George on May 24: “These scholarships will make life more affordable for students by decreasing or eliminating financial pressures they face. This financial support will help them focus on their studies to continue building the lives they want so they can find further success in British Columbia.”
The funding scheme builds on the StrongerBC Economic Plan which seeks to close the skills gap in the province through post-secondary education and training for the jobs most in need of workers.
Grad scholarship profile:
Since 2018, the Province has invested $19.5 million in B.C. Graduate Scholarships, which has supported 1,300 awards.
Approximately 4,100 B.C. graduate students received federal/provincial student financial assistance through StudentAidBC in 2021-22, totalling $50 million. This included more than $15 million in interest-free B.C. student loans and more than $1 million in non-repayable B.C. provincial grants.
Since government eliminated interest on student loans in 2019, B.C. students have saved more than $40 million in interest payments.