May 24, 2022
Prince George — More graduate students will benefit from a $3.75-million scholarship fund that will spark innovation, economic growth and help recruit and retain B.C.’s brightest minds.
The scholarships are merit-based and research-focused with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. Professional programs and other disciplines, such as business administration and health, are also eligible.
“Graduate students, including those at the University of Northern British Columbia, conduct critical research and investigate a wide range of topics that have a direct impact on our day-to-day lives. They contribute meaningfully in our quest to create local solutions that have a global impact,” said Dr. Geoffrey Payne, president, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). “This renewed commitment to graduate scholarships is exciting; it helps us attract students, furthers research productivity and makes pursuing a graduate degree more accessible for students.”
The B.C. Graduate Scholarships were introduced in 2018 and have helped graduate students undertake projects that create new knowledge and find solutions to pressing real-world challenges, such as research at UNBC in watershed monitoring, wildfire impacts, forestry and wood engineering.
“Thanks to the B.C. Graduate Scholarship, I can experience learning as a passion and not as a job,” said Ann Duong, a B.C. Graduate Scholarship recipient. “This allows me to delve deeper into my research, contemplate new ideas and possibilities, and have the confidence to explore industrial hygiene, an unfamiliar field of knowledge.”
Building on the StrongerBC Economic Plan to close B.C.’s skills and talent gap, the funding helps ensure people can access the education and training needed for in-demand jobs.
Ten post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. are administering the scholarships, enabling them to support the province’s next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders.
The investment will support 250 awards of a minimum of $15,000 each through March 2024.
Graduate students are also eligible for a wide range of student financial aid through StudentAid BC, including grants, bursaries and loans. Students can read eligibility criteria and apply online: https://studentaidbc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Graduate scholarships and student aid in B.C.
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
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.