UBC receives $75,000 from province to improve co-op programs

The provincial government announced yesterday that almost $1.9 million will be distributed to post-secondary institutions across BC to support co-op programs and other work-learn opportunities for students.

Each of BC’s 25 public universities, colleges and institutes will receive $75,000 in funding. UBC plans to allocate theirs toward supporting marketing resources and strategies for its co-op programs across both campuses.

This is the third year in a row that the government has awarded a grant of this size for co-op programs. The funds are meant to help schools “improve their capacity to place students in meaningful workplace-based learning opportunities,” according to a government media release.

“These co-op opportunities allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom in the real world,” said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark during the announcement. “Employers get the chance to identify new talent and benefit from the fresh ideas and energy students bring.”

In an emailed statement, UBC Vice Provost & Associate Vice President Academic Eric Eich wrote that the university would put the funding toward a redesign for the UBC co-op website to make it easier for employers to recruit across departments and disciplines, as well as to advertise to key markets like Toronto and the Silicon Valley.

Last year’s funding went towards promotional measures such as the production of a video and the development of a social media strategy.

Most UBC co-op students are in engineering and the sciences, but the funding will be used to market the program as a whole.

“Overall, this funding is enabling UBC Co-op to work together to market our co-op programs, providing easier access for employers to our students, thereby increasing opportunities for UBC co-op students,” wrote Eich.