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CUFA BC Applauds New Graduate Scholarship Funding

Created 30 March 2021 15:03

For Immediate Release March 30, 2021 – Minister Anne Kang of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced $3.75 million funding at ten public post-secondary institutions to support the BC Graduate Scholarships. The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) applauds the announcement and recognizes the many years of lobbying for this support for graduate students and faculty at BC’s research universities.

“Government is breaking down barriers to affordable, accessible post-secondary education in all regions of the province so students can focus more on excellence in education rather than making ends meet,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The B.C. Graduate Scholarships support our next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders by increasing affordability for our best graduate students and keeping the talent pool in B.C.”

“This funding continues the positive steps this government has taken in funding graduate student scholarships,” said CUFA BC President Dr. Daniel Laitsch. “It builds on the principles of affordability and accessibility in post-secondary education in British Columbia.”

The merit-based funding today will support 250 awards with a minimum of $15,000 each over the next two years. The funding focusses specifically on graduate students in research-based degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, with limited other eligible disciplines.

“While we are very grateful for this announcement, we are concerned about the strict targeting of the funding to STEM programs. There are a multitude of existing programs that support STEM fields at BC’s universities and we would have preferred a more equitable scholarship and research program open to students in all disciplines,” said Executive Director Annabree Fairweather.

Though the $3.75 million funding does fall short of the NDP’s original commitment of $50 million in 2017 and the $12 million funding allocated in 2018, this funding will go a long way to supporting students and faculty at BC’s research universities during an important time of need brought about by the pandemic.

For further information or comment please contact CUFA BC Executive Director Annabree Fairweather at 604-367-5856 or executive.director@cufa.bc.ca.

 

CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia.

CUFA BC has existed for fifty years and works closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.