BC announces expanded graduate scholarship funding to support students
Increased scholarship funding will support graduate students during their studies and prepare them for in-demand careers.
The Province is investing approximately $15 million in graduate scholarships over three years, adding $2,500 to each new graduate scholarship award. This funding will accelerate talent development and innovation, along with recruiting and retaining talent, and support graduate students’ success in British Columbia’s growing economy.
“These scholarships will help more graduate students become our province’s next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders, and the talent that employers and British Columbians rely on,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Through the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, we’re supporting graduate students by significantly increasing graduate scholarships, making education more affordable and more accessible and helping set people up for success in our growing economy.”
Building on the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, the new higher award value of $17,500 will support graduate students with increasing costs.
“Transitioning to clean energy to combat climate change has direct and positive impacts on our job market,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “These scholarships reinforce how important it is to train people for current and future jobs in our rapidly growing clean economy. They are also an important part of our strategy to support in-demand careers for First Nations and in all communities across B.C.”
With global inflation driving up the cost of living, graduate students throughout the province will benefit from the increased scholarship investment, making post-secondary education more affordable while helping recruit and retain B.C.’s brightest minds.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Minister Robinson to the University of the Fraser Valley today to make this impactful announcement,” said James Mandigo, acting president, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). “By making the next level of education more accessible, we’re bolstering our commitment to engaging learners, transforming lives and building community.”
The B.C. Graduate Scholarships were first introduced in 2018 to support students’ success and have supported graduate students to pursue their research and skills training to find solutions to pressing real-world challenges. Ten post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. are administering the graduate student scholarships, enabling them to support and train the province’s next generation of leaders.
“Working on my graduate degree has been a life-changing experience – not only by allowing me to significantly increase my knowledge, but also by allowing me to prove to myself what I’m really capable of doing and learning,” said Tara Scheirer, UFV student. “I know this funding will be appreciated by grad school students for years to come.”
The StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan released May 2, 2023, is a cross-government plan that will help make education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help prepare the people of B.C. for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Budget 2023 invests $480 million over three years to support the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan to work to break down barriers to post-secondary education so more people can get training for in-demand careers and so employers can access the talent they need.
Graduate students are 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/
Since 2018, the Province has invested more than $24 million in B.C. Graduate Scholarships, supporting more than 1,500 awards.
The 10 post-secondary institutions receiving a combined total of approximately $5 million for B.C. Graduate Scholarships in 2023-24 are:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology: $55,000
- Emily Carr University of Art and Design: $60,000
- Royal Roads University: $157,500
- Simon Fraser University: $795,000
- Thompson Rivers University: $177,500
- University of British Columbia: $2,175,000
- University of Northern British Columbia: $337,500
- University of the Fraser Valley: $130,000
- University of Victoria: $840,000
- Vancouver Island University: $175,000
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 $680,000 in non-repayable B.C. provincial grants.
This spring, the B.C. government invested $50 million into Mitacs to support 10,000 paid internships open to both undergraduate and graduate students over five years. (Mitacs is a nonprofit national research organization that, in partnerships with Canadian academia, private industry and government, operates research and training programs in fields related to industrial and social innovation.) Students will receive a minimum $10,000 stipend from the internships as they gain on-the-job experience in high-demand jobs with leading and emerging companies and organizations throughout the province.