NDP announces $3.75 million in graduate research scholarships

10 post secondary institutions will receive similar research scholarships

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The photo is of the front of NDP MLA Anne Kang's office. The brick building's window has Kang's name and a photo of her face on it.
NDP MLA Anne Kang hopes the scholarships will help increase accessibility to education. PHOTO: Amirul Anirban / The Peak

By: Pranjali J Mann, News Writer

SFU is set to receive $630,000 in domestic graduate research scholarship funding. The provincial government’s press release notes the scholarships will be awarded based on merit. The focus will be research-based projects in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business disciplines.

The research funding comes as an effort of the BC government to close BC’s skills and talent gap, under the StrongerBC Economic Plan. This particular “investment will support 250 awards of a minimum of $15,000 each through March 2024.”

“One of the ways we can strengthen our communities is by investing in students so that they feel ready to take on whatever comes their way,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed.

To find out more about the grant, The Peak contacted Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training. Kang mentioned the BC graduate scholarship program was started by the government in 2018 with $20 million invested so far. 

She noted throughout 2022–23, the $3.75 million fund will provide domestic graduate scholarships across 10 post-secondary institutions. This includes British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia, University of the Fraser Valley, University of Victoria, and SFU.

Kang underlined the funding is coming because the provincial government wants to “work hard to invest in affordable post-secondary education and break down barriers for people by investing in post-secondary institutions.” According to her, these scholarships can be used by graduate students to “cover their life expenses such as tuition, rent, food, childcare, and transportation. The purpose is so they can focus on their studies and be successful.”

For all domestic undergraduate and graduate students, the government offers these grants through the Student Aid BC program. Under this program, $50 million has been invested this year, covering financial assistance for about 4,000 graduate students in BC. 

On April 14, Tuition Freeze Now held a rally outside of Kang’s office in protest of the cost of tuition. International student fees and tuition has increased by 4% within the last year.

Kang added the issue of affordability is being worked on and several steps included a funding review looking into cost of living and tuition for all twenty five post secondary institutions in BC. She also stated, “I am very confident by 2028 that the government and post secondary institutions will have invested in 8,000 student housing. That means there will be more affordable housing and safe housing on campuses.”

Kang said education is being made more affordable in BC by “eliminating tuition fees for former youth in care” and allowing adults to receive free adult basic education.