UBC grad students receive $6 million from provincial funding

It’s been a good week for BC graduate students.

The provincial government announced $12 million in funding to support graduate students from 10 public post-secondary institutions with graduate programs this week. Because the funds are distributed based the size of the student population and the number of graduate programs offered, UBC topped the recipient list with $6 million — half of the total amount.

The fund encourages graduate student innovation, particularly for students working in research and technology-oriented fields.

UBC’s portion of the funding will be distributed through 400 grants of $15,000 administered by the university, with a concentration on “research focused” graduate programs in fields such as “science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

It will also go toward Indigenous-oriented research, as the government noted its commitment to “recommendations made by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

“The B.C. Graduate Scholarship Fund is a long-overdue investment that will break down barriers for graduate students in all regions of the province," said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark in the press release.

“Our graduate students are at the leading edge of research and innovation ... I'm so proud we're supporting these students and, in turn, lifting up our communities.”

This program will also be used as a platform for UBC to encourage donations to its Blue and Gold fundraising campaign for student scholarships, which is close to meeting half of its $100 million target.

Financial precarity has been a challenge for some graduate students at UBC, with organizations and students alike noting that existing grant and bursary structures often don’t cover all the costs graduate program.

“Graduate students need and deserve government's support,” said Graduate Student Society (GSS) President John Ede in a press release. “Graduate students’ discoveries contribute to improving all of our lives, so this fund is greatly needed."

In the same week, UBC also received $75,000 from the provincial government to improve its co-op programs. The university currently expects to put the funding toward revamping the website and supporting other marketing resources for both campuses.

“UBC’s position as one of the top research universities in the world is due in large part to the talent of its masters and doctoral students at both UBC campuses,” said President Santa Ono in the release.

“These scholarships encourage our most innovative and creative researchers to excel without limits."

Editors’ Note: A July 27 article said UBC graduate students received $12 million from two provincial funding projects in one week. This has now been corrected to show that while BC graduate students did receive $12 million from the provincial government this week, UBC students only received $6 million. The old article has been unpublished to avoid misinformation.

The mistake was made over the confusion between a July 25 government press release that showed only UBC graduate students receiving $6 million, and a July 27 government press release that showed the total $12 million going toward 10 BC post-secondary institutions with UBC receiving $6 million. The Ubyssey regrets this error.