BC Graduate Scholarships a First Step

VANCOUVER — The BC government?s announcement of $10 million in funding to create the ?Pacific Century? graduate student scholarship program is a good first step toward increasing the accessibility of graduate studies in BC, says the Canadian Federation of Students.

For the past two years, the Canadian Federation of Students has called for a comprehensive, provincial scholarship program to help graduate students, who are among the most indebted in the province, cope with the rising cost of post-secondary education.

?This announcement is a positive first step, but needs to be matched by a commitment to sustained provincial funding in order to last beyond one generation of students,? said Shamus Reid, BC Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.

At present, the Pacific Century scholarship program is only funded for the next four years. The program will provide approximately 250 graduate students a year with a $10,000 partial scholarship.

?This program still leaves thousands of graduate students who are doing research to benefit British Columbia without any provincial assistance,? said Reid. ?The BC government can and should invest in those students and the future of our province.?

In recent years, British Columbia has remained consistently below the national average in both graduate degrees issued and graduate student enrolment per capita.

The Canadian Federation of Students is a cooperative alliance of more than 150,000 students from 19 students? unions across British Columbia.